Catch him if you can: Southwestern Randolph’s Cole off to blazing start

ASHEBORO – Adam Cole doesn’t need an encore, though after a six-touchdown performance in Southwestern Randolph’s most recent game that would be difficult.

But the versatile junior has more to accomplish.

Southwestern Randolph’s Adam Cole runs 65 yards for a touchdown after catching a pass from Keaton Reed against visiting South Stanly on Aug. 27. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

With the Cougars off to a 2-0 start going into Friday night’s home game against West Davidson, Cole figures to be at the forefront of the game plan.

“There’s a decent number (of plays called) for me,” Cole said.

Just determining how he might be used could be the tricky part. He’s considered a running back, but his hybrid role often calls for him to be lined up in the slot.

“He’s definitely a unique talent,” Southwestern Randolph coach Seth Baxter said. “We’re trying to utilize him the best we can. Anytime he touches the ball, we feel he can take it the distance.”

He has scored nine touchdowns in two games without playing in the fourth quarter in either romp. His six-TD outing in the most-recent game against South Stanly came with an array of different types of scoring plays.

His favorite?

“Probably the pick-6,” he said of an interception return. “Got the crowd really excited. I feel like I read the play pretty well.”

Cole, also an outfielder and lead-off batter for the school’s baseball team, is listed at 6-foot and 165 pounds. He plays as a defensive back when the Cougars don’t have possession.

He has the speed to be a difference maker.

“I think that’s what it is,” Cole said. “Even with baseball, that’s my main thing.”

Cole is regularly praising others, even with his scoring numbers.

“I think with our (offensive line) and my receivers and other running backs block for me, that lets me get to the outside,” he said. “I always knew I was capable.”

Southwestern Randolph coach Seth Baxter points to were the play is going during the team’s first day of football practice for the 2021 season on Aug. 2. PJ WARD-BROWN/NORTH STATE JOURNAL

Baxter said: “He’s always complimenting those around him. He constantly deflects attention.”

The Cougars have other playmakers, including running back Easton Clapp, receiver/tight end Eli Gravely and quarterback Keaton Reed.

Last season, Cole scored six touchdowns – all on offense – during the abbreviated six-game spring session. Back then, the Cougars were able to build their offense around then-senior Jacob Jarrell.

But Baxter said it has been apparent for quite some time that Cole would make a huge impact. Prior to his freshman season, he suffered a broken ankle, so that limited him to four junior varsity games.

Despite the speed component for Cole, Baxter said there’s a toughness element that’s present. That became clear when he absorbed brutal hits last season in the Southeast Guilford game.

He was mostly running away from opponents in the South Stanly game. He had 14 touches in the contest (counting the interception) in producing the six touchdowns.

“He makes all of us look good,” Baxter said.


By Bob Sutton