Friends, former foes to meet when Catawba plays Chowan

Published 8:28 pm Friday, August 24, 2007

By Staff
Roach wants to go out with a bang
By KEVIN TRAVIS. Sports Editor
Wanting to finish his college career in a big way, Catawba quarterback Brad Roach gets his first crack at doing just that close to home.
The former Williamston High School star will lead his team into Saturday’s season opener at Chowan. The game will kick off at 1 p.m.
Roach and his teammates will actually stay in a hotel in Williamston on Friday night.
Roach and the Indians will be in the neighborhood again the following Saturday when Catawba plays at Elizabeth City on Sept. 1.
The 6-6, 245-pound senior quarterback is off to a good start this season. Roach was named the preseason South Atlantic Conference First Team quarterback.
With that honor comes a little added pressure.
“It’s just the preseason so it’s doesn’t really matter,” Roach said. “It does put a little pressure on me, but I try not to worry about it. I’ll just go out game by game and perform and everything else will take care of itself.”
Matt Barrett, Catawba’s quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, thinks Roach will handle the preseason accolades just fine.
Roach is coming off what he called a “mediocre” season. He was 178-of-339 (52.5 percent) for 2,250 yards with 14 touchdowns and 19 interceptions last year. Roach added 25 yards rushing and one score.
As a sophomore, Roach was 206-of-384 (53.6 percent) for 2,302 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also ran for 22 yards and two scores.
This year, Roach isn’t worrying about numbers. Well, expect for those in the win column.
Barrett thinks his quarterback has a chance to do just that.
Like Roach, Barrett is more concerned with the number of wins than the number of touchdown passes Roach throws. However, Barrett would like to see Roach set his sights on one Catawba record.
While the Indians were picked to finish fourth in the conference, Roach believes the team can do much better.
Roach is hoping that his playing days won’t be over at the end of the season. He wants nothing more than a shot to play professionally.
What does Roach need to do this season to raise his stock?
Barrett thinks his senior quarterback has a shot.
Roach isn’t worry about the NFL just now. Instead, he’s strictly focused on playing the Chowan Hawks.
Palmer looking to lead the Hawks
By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
The Chowan Hawks didn’t win a single game last year. That’s about to change, if Greg Palmer has a say in the matter.
Palmer, who was the WDN Defensive Player of the Year his senior year at Northside High School, looks to lead a more motivated and confident Chowan team this year.
Palmer, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive end, said the team is taking a new mentality into this season.
Palmer, who didn’t see much playing time last year, credits his former coaches at Northside for developing him as a player, and as a person.
Palmer is looking to use what they taught him on Saturday in Chowan’s season opener. The Hawks will play host to the Catawba Indians in a 1 p.m. start.
Leading Catawba is quarterback Brad Roach, a former standout at Williamston High School. Palmer’s Northside Panthers and Roach’s Williamston Tigers tangled a few times in their high school careers.
So has there been any trash talking between the two leading up to Saturday’s game?
Palmer, the son of Gregory and Janet Palmer, is hoping for a big season — both from the team and individually.
He’s hoping to see some friendly and familiar faces in the crowd at Saturday’s opener.
After a long summer of lifting and running and practicing, Palmer is ready to tackle a real opponent.