Roberson is ready

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

WINDSOR – If you look around the practice field at Bertie High School hardly anything looks different.

True, the grass is greener than usual and yes, there are more kids working out than in the past, but the coaching staff looks almost the same.

They aren’t.

The men are the same staff that has come to be known as one of the finest coaching crews in prep football, but their roles are different and, so to are their attitudes.

&uot;I have a great amount of respect for Coach (Roy) Bond and what he led us to do over the years,&uot; Offensive Coordinator Barry McGlone said. &uot;We are all better coaches because of him, but we’re looking forward to this chance too.&uot;

The chance McGlone is speaking about is the beginning of the Willie Roberson era at Bertie. &uot;Coach Rob&uot; as he is affectionately known, took over the reigns of the program when Bond retired earlier this year.

He has worked quickly to build on Bertie’s proud past, but is also instituting a program that is uniquely his own.

&uot;It’s coming along smoothly,&uot; Roberson said of the transition. &uot;They guys are developing strong chemistry and we’re very enthusiastic about the upcoming season.&uot;

Roberson’s staff is already working on implementing the variations to both the offense and defense that are coming in the 2004 season.

&uot;We’re learning already what we have to do to be successful on offense,&uot; McGlone said. &uot;I’m pleased with where we are as far as trying to get a grasp on what I want to do on the offensive side of the ball.&uot;

Most of that learning has come during off-season drills that has seen the team gain in both strength and knowledge.

&uot;We’re lifting weights, conditioning, getting ready,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;I’m excited about my coaching staff, the finest in the state as far as I’m concerned, and what they are working with me to achieve.&uot;

As he looks around, Roberson said his strongest area of concern has been transportation.

&uot;Our biggest concern is getting the kids out,&uot; he insisted. &uot;In a rural setting like Bertie County you can have kids who live 35 miles from the school. Getting them here during summer workouts is tough, but we believe those problems will diminish once school starts.&uot;

While transportation has been an issue, there have been several positives.

&uot;Right now I’m pleased with the quarterback situation,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;He likes the new passing scheme and has done a good job with learning what Coach McGlone wants from him.

&uot;We have a pair of quarterbacks, Desmond Williams, who is our front-runner and Charles Newsome,&uot; he added. &uot;This will be the first time in a few years we’ve had a backup quarterback at the varsity level.

&uot;Not having one the past several years put us behind this season, but we feel like we’ll be able to get past that thanks to these two young men,&uot; he added.

Roberson said he and the coaching staff were ready to get to work as they prepare for the season-opener at Wilson’s James B. Hunt High School.

&uot;We’re ready to put on the pads and hit somebody,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m looking forward to a great season.&uot;