Avery High football coach Darrell Brewer has seen it all in his nine years as head coach. He's been blessed with some great players like Joe Johnson (who played at Appalachian State and Mars Hill College), Alex Villanueva (currently a walk on
at Appalachian State University) and Ricky Spradling (currently the wide receivers coach and video coordinator for Mars Hill College, a Division II school in the South Atlantic League) just to name a few. But he's also seen his share of bumps on the road, which includes a 2-10 season in 2008.
His recent blemish, in what has been a good start to the 2012 season, concerns offensive lineman Scott Wiseman. The Avery junior suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the season opener against Mitchell (a 20-13 win) on August 17. The injury kept him sidelined last week against West Wilkes, and according to Brewer, he will be a game-time decision Friday night against Watauga.'
"Scott is our best offensive lineman," Brewer said. "We've ordered a brace for him to wear. Hopefully, it will get here on time, and we'll let him wear it Friday night. But the season's young, and I don't want to push him. That's why he's a game-time decision. Playing Watauga is a huge money game for both schools, but whether we beat them, or they beat us, it won't matter much when we get into November."
Senior Tyler Whittington, a wide receiver/defensive back, has moved into Wiseman's spot. And despite his size, or lack of it, Whittington has more than made up for it with his determination and grit.
"He's a bulldog in there," Brewer said. "He may not like playing on the line, but he's earned himself a spot in there. We were having some problems at tackle, and I decided to throw him in there. And let me tell you, the guy is a fighter. He more than held his own."
This is the 45th meeting between the schools. WHS owns a 30-13-1 lead, but the Vikings (2-0) have won two in a row in the series, which includes a 46-27 win in Newland last fall. But despite WHS' huge advantage in this series, the teams are split right down the middle since 1996, winning eight games apiece.
"This is a big bragging rights game for our communities and players," Brewer said. "I've enjoyed coaching in this game against Watauga. They are always well coached, and they're good people. We've had some entertaining games over the years. Hopefully, our teams will put on a good show Friday night."
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oldies 100.7 FM; and at 7 p.m. on Mix 102.3 FM.