Coach sends message to Falcons

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 5, 2003

WINDSOR – There are many good things that come from defeating your archrival in the final game of the season. And some that are not good.

Bertie veteran football boss Roy Bond isn’t concerned about the good things that came from last week’s 21-7 victory at Hertford County. He’s worried about the others.

&uot;The biggest thing we need to do is refocus,&uot; Bond said. &uot;The Hertford County game is so emotional, it makes it difficult, but we better get focused on our third season.&uot;

In his 12 seasons at the helm of the Falcon program, Bond has always divided his team’s season into three – non-conference, conference and playoffs.

The Falcons limped out of the non-conference season with a 1-3 mark, but rallied for a strong conference season at 4-2. Now Bond and his veteran assistant coaches will be looking to get the team ready for Friday night’s first-round game in the post-season.

Bertie is seeded sixth in the 3-A division of the playoffs and will host the Rams, who come into the contest with a 7-3 mark on the season.

The Falcons and Rams have squared off in the playoffs before. Northeast Guilford rolled past the Falcons in McLeansville 49-0 in the first round of the 1998 playoffs.

While the Rams come in with 7-3 mark, all three of their losses came inside the tough Piedmont Triad 3-A league. They dropped games to Smith (5-5), Parkland (9-1) and Glenn (8-2), all of which qualified for the state playoffs this season.

While the loss to Smith was an upset, Parkland is ranked as tenth in the latest media and coaches’ poll.

Glenn finished second in the Piedmont Triad behind Parkland.

Bond said he has already seen Northeast Guilford on film and has respect for what they’ve done this season.

&uot;They’re the type of program that sends a lot of kids to big colleges,&uot; Bond said.

The coach also said he believes the Rams are as good as any team he has faced all year –

a list that includes state-ranked J.H. Rose and Wallace-Rose Hill and 3-A playoff teams Beddingfield and Goldsboro.

&uot;Northeast may be the best team we have played all year,&uot; he said. &uot;They are a team that is both big and fast. We have to get our focus on them and be ready to play come Friday.&uot;

The Falcons will have to prepare themselves without senior left guard Larry Collins who will miss Friday’s contest due to injury, but otherwise are faced with only &uot;bumps and bruises&uot; that are typical of any team.

One edge for the Falcons may be playoff experience as Bertie has qualified for the post season for six consecutive years and seven of the last nine.

&uot;We’ve had a remarkable run,&uot; Bond said. &uot;If we want to make this year’s run special, we have to focus on what is at hand Friday night.&uot;