Coach Allen planted the seedPublished 7:05am Tuesday, January 21, 2014
To the Editor:
I would like to share some past experiences regarding Coach Daryl Allen. He had a Godly demeanor and that was the way he carried himself at ALL times. Coach Allen played an instrumental role in my character development and disposition.
I played varsity football for Coach Allen for three years (1984-1987) and was blessed to be in his presence. I learned so much from him, on and off the field.
Besides my parents, he was the first to inspire me to get good grades. Coach Allen advised me on what subjects to take while in high school and how they would benefit me while in college. For example, Coach Allen advised me to take typing as a sophomore in high school and I was the only guy in the class. I went to Coach Allen and complained. He said, “Don’t complain, you’ll be in demand in 10 years.” Now, I’m able to now type about 65 to 70 word per minute and it’s very instrumental in my line of employment.
Coach Allen was more than and X & O coach. All players respected and admired him. My senior year, the week before a big playoff game, he said we needed some kamikazes to break down the wall during kickoff returns. There were more than enough players who volunteered to run down the field into the wall for Coach Allen. It was a badge of honor to be on the Kamikaze Crew.
We made it to the state championship during my senior year of high school. We lost to LexingtonHigh School. All the guys were upset; some were even crying. Coach Allen gathered everyone and we did our usual prayer after a game. Coach Allen wasn’t mad. He thanked God for giving everyone the strength and the opportunity to participate in the game and no one got injured. He stated that even though we lost, it’s an experience most high school student-athletes will never get to participate in playing for a state championship and the opportunity to represent their school, city, family and friends. Coach Allen reminded us that even though we lost the game, we didn’t have anything to be disappointed about and we should not walk around with our heads down. Upon returning back to Ahoskie there were a lot of fans who greeted us at the school. We were proud to represent AhoskieHigh School.
I still remember the advice Coach Allen shared regarding family values. He bonded with his players and students; he would even play basketball with us during gym class.
Coach Allen attended the Class of ‘87 high school reunion and he spoke briefly to the class. He was still very humble and thanked all the students for inviting him to the event. He was glad to have the chance to see everyone as adults and expressed how it was very satisfying to see former players and students once again. He joked about being surrounded by the Ahoskie High School Cougars colors. He reminisced about football, life, family and said he didn’t play basketball anymore.
Finally, I’m so thankful to have played for Coach Allen. He laid the foundation for young men to follow and I will always try to emulate what he represented as Godly man, father, teacher, coach and friend. I definitely have learned from the seeds he planted 25 years ago.
Rest in peace, Coach Allen.
(Editor’s Note: Tony Outlaw resides in Raleigh and works as a social worker/case manager for Eastpointe in Rocky Mount. There he works with individuals and families that have developmental disabilities. When time permits, he is also a volunteer coach in Raleigh.)