High school football: Steady Fugle does his job – Salisbury Post
By Mike London
SALISBURY – It’s mid-October, but it’s 80 degrees as the Salisbury Hornets make their way through another quick practice.
Former SHS head coach Gus Andrews looks down from the hill overlooking the training ground and nods in approval to the muscular mind and body, one of them belonging to the Georgia hires Jalon Walker.
The Hornets’ training intensity is a bit surprising, as Lexington, a team that lost to West Davidson and South Davidson, is the next treat on the menu. Salisbury won 69-6 over West Davidson and 64-0 over South Davidson, so there is no doubt what will happen to Lexington. This is a 100% probability of winning if there has already been one.
Head coach Brian Hinson and his staff have convinced the Hornets that they are not preparing for Lexington. They’re gearing up for Maiden, for Shelby, for Reidsville, for whoever stands in their way in November. It’s not an easy sale, but the team bought into it.
âWe’re trying to practice today like it’s Thanksgiving weekend,â said senior defensive end Reed Fugle.
The schedule has been weak, although you cannot control who you play in your own conference.
Salisbury beat his opponents 393-27, which is almost a comedic calculation, and that’s with plenty of clocks running and with offensive starters sitting early. The Hornets are only ranked fourth in 2A West by MaxPreps due to their volatile schedule, but they know how good they are. The most serious opponent so far has been Thomasville (6-1), and the Hornets were leading 42-7 over the Bulldogs when they stepped on the gas.
Thomasville got two late scores after Salisbury reserves returned the ball. West Davidson got a touchdown after recovering a bad shot on a punt near the Salisbury 5-yard line.
That’s all for the authorized points.
âWe still want the goose egg as a defense,â Fugle said. “Zeros mean a lot to everyone.”
The 220-pound Fugle, who plays the strong defensive end, has an interesting background.
His father, Rudy Fugle, is from Livonia, NY Rudy developed a passion for racing from an early age. He went to Rochester School of Technology before coming to the South with the dream of landing a job in NASCAR. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from UNC Charlotte before gradually climbing the ranks in racing. In the fall of 2020, he was named by Hendrick Motorsports as crew chief for William Byron and the No.24 Chevrolet Camaro.
âHis dad is all over the place with races,â Hinson said. “But he goes out of his way to support Reed on Friday nights.”
Reed is the oldest of four siblings. Her mother, Carie, a science teacher, previously worked at Salisbury High, but is now at West Cabarrus.
Fugle started in soccer in elementary school. Football was his father’s second favorite sport after running.
Fugle played Salisbury’s quarterback jayvee admirably for two years, but Vance Honeycutt was ahead of him, and the very talented Mike Geter was on course to follow Honeycutt.
âReed was a key part of successful jayvee teams as a quarterback,â said Hinson. âBut he was always that jack of all trades who could play a lot of positions. He played a certain running back, an H-back, a linebacker. He’s still our backup quarterback should anything happen to Geter, but he’s found a defensive home over the past two years. He spent time there last year, but he’s played enough that we consider him a returning holder. We never worried about his place.
In last Thursday’s game with East Davidson – a 49-0 shutout on the road to a decent team – Fugle made 10 tackles. That’s an unusual number of saves for a defensive lineman, but East Davidson is leading the ball in almost every play, and on film, Fugle doesn’t look as big or as fast as some of his. teammates. So East Davidson was coming his way.
âWell, you don’t want to execute him at (nose guard) Nick Hall and you probably want to execute him somewhere where Jalon Walker isn’t,â Hinson said with a chuckle. âSo you try to execute it somewhere else. What our defense has done very well in this game at East Davidson is to make their offense side to side. They wanted to move on, but we were able to get them out of there.
The shutout was Salisbury’s fifth.
While this was his best statistical game of the season, Fugle isn’t losing sleep worrying about the stats sheet.
âI’m not one of our big playmakers and I’m not normally a guy who’s going to get a bunch of stats,â Fugle said. âI’m just doing my job. I want to note when the coaches watch the movie. Getting that 93 or 95 rating and being consistent is what I’m proud of.
When the Hornets coaching staff meets on Sundays to study film, Fugle almost always gets good grades.
âIt has an impact on our games,â Hinson said. “The film shows that he is in the right place and that he is involved in many plays.”
Fugle is also important to Salisbury’s special teams as the short snapper on extra points and field goals and the long snapper on punters. Salisbury hasn’t had to worry about taking pictures in a while, but Jackson Murphy, who was excellent at it, graduated last spring. Fugle replaced him.
Fugle missed West Davidson’s game with an injury. It was the night the Hornets had the long wandering snap that led to a TD for the Green Dragons. Long hanging is one of those things that you don’t notice until something goes wrong. Fugle should be able to handle this chore smoothly the rest of the way.
âWe’re happy he’s playing for us,â Hinson said.
Fugle isn’t a guy who’ll make the headlines often, but he stood out in the spring when he sacked in Salisbury’s dominant performance in the 2AA State Championship game.
âI had a sack, but then I celebrated it a bit too loud,â Fugle said with a smile. âThe guys haven’t forgotten. They always give me all kinds of grief about it.