After far too long of an absence, I had the chance to return to the press box at Concord’s Callaghan Stadium Saturday.
Many have called being in the press box “the best seats in the house” and, in many ways, they are. You’re protected from most of the elements and have a generally good view of the game.
I’ve had the pleasure of being friends with two of the finest public address announcers around in the late Harry Finkleman and current announcer Tom Bone. They basically have handled the duties since the former started as a fill-in in 1949, when the field was where the Alexander Center is now.
Tom literally and figuratively wears many hats, not only doing announcements, but effectively doing play-by-play for the game and covering the game for the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Basically, I have a hard enough job just covering the game so I couldn’t imagine doing what amounts to three jobs.
Another asset the press box has is Concord Sports Information Director Wes McKinney. Wes keeps the local media well-informed as to Concord sports and keeps the press box humming as well as anyone in that he coordinates all the various roles which people have, whether they be media or staff.
Before I move on to the game recap, I want to recognize the radio team of veteran play-by-play announcer Jason Reed and color commentator Steve Cox. Before you wonder what a retired basketball coach is doing covering football, Steve served for years as the kicking coach for Concord football.
As for the game, Concord dominated most of the first half just as they did against Glenville in the season opener. It seems to be more of an offensive question as they get out to the leads and perform well but falter in the later stages.
I think it’s a combination of inexperience with very few returnees from 2019 on offense and the fact the team has only played three games since 2019. I wouldn’t doubt that they were pressing a bit being at home as well.
Jack Mangel has played very well in his three games as a quarterback. He and wide receiver Tywan Pearce have clicked very well and he has connected with other receivers including Jarrod Bowie.
The running game features three new backs in Kris Copeland, Justin Lee and Christian Gilbert. Copeland uses his speed, Lee is more of a slasher and Gilbert is a power back.
The offensive line is right now pretty good in run blocking and is improving in pass blocking although Mangel is still taking some sacks.
The special teams did their job well for the most part in that they only had a couple of lapses.
As for the defense, the front seven was solid led by Dwain Porterfield. The backfield gave up three of the four Wesleyan scores.
Speaking of games with local interest, WVU beat Virginia Tech in what was a cliffhanger but the WVU fans are still unhappy with quarterback Jarrett Doege and, by extension, head coach Neal Brown. Just no satisfying some people.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com