It was big week and in more ways than one.
Thanks from one Rutherford County man to another! Texans owner, Robert McNair picked former Chase and Clemson standout, Carlos Watkins in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Houston had already put up a heck of a draft board with Deshaun Watson, Zach Cunningham and D'onta Foreman before nabbing Watkins. Watkins led Clemson in sacks last year, but now he has DJ Reader, JJ Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Clowney, Cushing, etc. to gain NFL knowledge and experience from. So, Congrats to Carlos Watkins!
As for Carolina in the draft, they got more offensive weapons and an offensive lineman, but I am not sure what to make of the whole thing. McCaffrey and Samuel should give Newton's offense more firepower and Taylor Moton should be able to find a lot of time on the offensive line. I would have like to have seen a top safety or defensive end maybe in the second round instead of Samuel, but I see where Carolina was going with the pick. Samuel might turn out to be one of the better picks after losing Ted Ginn. I do think McCaffrey is a sure thing, but we will see.
I guess it came with some shock that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is calling it quits after this season in the Cup Series. I figured he would go maybe three seasons or so, but not one after a sixth-month full recovery process to play the retirement card.
Junior may not have done the damage to the records books that his dad has in the sport, but his story in NASCAR will forever remain. The name alone stands by itself. I'm sad to hear that this is his final season, but he contends that life has never been better. A wife, possible kids in his future and more business opportunities on top of keeping his health are what led to the decision. This won't be the last time you hear from me about the Jr. topic.
High School Sports:
R-S Central and East Rutherford were heading into the final week of the regular season with Central holding a one-game lead in the SMAC. If East won that game and Friday, then East holds the tiebreaker. If R-S won Friday, then R-S would win the SMAC and hold the No.1 playoff spot among 2A SMAC teams.
In softball, R-S Central has won the SMAC and the 2A portion to claim the No. 1 conference seed. Where they will be seeded overall, they should easily land in the top five. Beating East Burke last week was huge and definitely builds some momentum as they head to the postseason.
East Rutherford looks to be heading to the playoffs as the fourth club to represent the SMAC, but Draughn has come on lately and look pretty solid with two games to go to grab that third 2A spot. Chase is three games back of East with two games left, but while tough, they are capable of winning both this week.