Battle of the Beards: State title tilt features hairy warriors
Two coaches itching to shave won’t raise razors until hopefully scratching off one more victory in the win column.
Carrboro coach Jason Tudryn is superstitious.
South Iredell coach Scott Miller brokered a bad deal with his players.
So when the Carrboro Jaguars (15-0) and Statesville’s South Iredell Vikings (13-2) get after it Saturday night for the 2-AA state championship at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium (7 p.m., Time Warner Cable channel 520), the team’s head coaches will match wits in what also will be a battle of the beards.
With some dye to color their beards white, Tudryn and Miller could make a little extra Christmas money as mall Santas. That’s how bushy their beards are.
“I’m pretty superstitious, and I think Coach Miller is the same way,” Tudryn said. “He’s got a month head start on me.”
Tudryn has nothing to be ashamed of. That big hair hanging off his face is an amazing presentation of follicular fortitude, a testament to testosterone.
It all started over the summer after the Jags returned from a team camp at the University of Virginia.
“At the end of July, we came back from Charlottesville,” Tudryn said. “I didn’t shave, and we just kept winning, so I said I can’t try to fix something that’s not broken. So that’s kind of where it all snowballed.”
Miller’s own clean-cut ways did him in. He was a military man and used to be a police officer, and there were some Vikings who knew about his aversion to facial hair.
Which gets at the root of Miller’s hairy situation that has him tangled in the flaky deal, agreeing not to shave as long as those particular players of his kept the hair on their heads cut short.
“I thought for sure they would grow it out by now, or I wouldn’t have made the deal,” Miller said. “It’s not my style at all.
“I can’t stand it.”
Miller plans to shave when the game is over, and he said he very well may bring his clippers to Carter-Finley Stadium and emerge from the locker room looking like a new man — hopefully one with a state championship.
Carrboro’s coach will have something to say about that.
Tudryn played high school football in Massachusetts and in college at the University of Massachusetts.
“I grew up in a locker room,” Tudryn said. “My dad was a coach for 45 years. All the way from since I could walk until now, I’ve been around football. I couldn’t do anything else but be a football coach. This is kind of what I’m wired to do.”
Tudryn used to coach high school football in Florida, where the sport is really big.
“I love the emotions that are spent on a Friday night,” Tudryn said. “There’s nothing else that generates emotions like that in young people.”
Well, there is one thing that would get some high school football players even more amplified than playing on a Friday:
Winning a state championship on a Saturday.