Watford heads home

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 29, 2004

AHOSKIE – Home sweet home.

Greg Watford will find out what its truly like to utter those words soon.

The Ahoskie native and Hertford County High School graduate was officially tabbed as the head football coach at his alma mater Tuesday evening.

&uot;We’re excited about having Mr. Watford as head football coach and anticipate he will bring us a lot of success,&uot; HCHS Principal Larry Lewis said.

&uot;We interviewed some good candidates,&uot; he continued. &uot;I was impressed with those who expressed an interest in the job, but we feel that Greg can offer what we need.&uot;

What Watford offers is 12 years of experience as a head varsity football coach. He has held that position in three schools – Southeast Halifax High School, Southern Vance High School and West Carteret High School.

At each stop Watford worked to resurrect programs that had fallen on hard times. His resurrection of the Patriot program actually came to fruition on the football field at Hertford County when he led West Carteret to an upset victory over the Bears last season.

Now it will be Watford’s lot to take over program that went 9-3 last season and won a share of the Northeastern Coastal Conference crown.

HCHS Athletic Director Charles Simmons said he was excited about Watford taking over the reigns of his school.

&uot;I’m very excited about having one of our own come home and direct the football program,&uot; Simmons said. &uot;I’m excited about this for our football program, the community and for Greg.&uot;

Simmons said he too felt Watford would bring what the school was looking for at the head football coach.

&uot;I think he’s very articulate,&uot; Simmons said. &uot;He has proven he can win. Every program he’s been at he turned around and made a contender.

&uot;He is a good fit for Hertford County High School at this time,&uot; Simmons added.

Hertford County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dennis M. Deloatch, a Hertford County product himself, said he was pleased to have a native son return to direct the Bears’ fortunes.

&uot;We’re delighted to have Coach Watford come back home,&uot; Deloatch said. &uot;He has a great opportunity to help us and help our program.

&uot;I look forward to our program moving forward,&uot; he added. &uot;I think Coach Watford will be a good role model for our kids.&uot;

For his own part, Watford said he was thrilled to be heading home.

&uot;It feels good,&uot; he said. &uot;Its one of those things I feel like its about time. It feels like I’ve arrived.&uot;

The coach said it was the first time in his career that he would be taking over a team that won more than four games the previous years.

&uot;I’m looking forward to working with athletes of that caliber,&uot; Watford said. &uot;I’m looking forward to working with coaches of that caliber.

&uot;Not too long ago, that stadium was the place to be on Friday nights,&uot; he added. &uot;It’s a big deal for me.&uot;

Watford’s goal is simple.

&uot;My goal is to win a state championship,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s not to win a conference championship, because that has been done. Unfortunately, I can’t put a time line on it.

&uot;I’m following three or four hall of fame coaches,&uot; he said. &uot;I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Young, Al Vaughan and Daryl Allen. Not many coaches my age can say that.&uot;