Coaches make debut

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A pair of new varsity football skippers will make their debut tomorrow night (Friday).

Bertie High School football boss Willie Roberson will take his troops to Wilson where they meet former conference rival James B. Hunt Jr. High School while Skip Cook is busy preparing his Northeast Academy Eagles for a home date with Wake Christian.

&uot;Randy Raper is a veteran coach who will definitely have his team prepared,&uot; Roberson said of Friday night’s foe. &uot;They have their quarterback returning, but lost their tailback from last season, but they group tailbacks up there.&uot;

Roberson said his squad would be traveling to a dangerous place when they head to Wilson.

&uot;It’s always a war when we play Hunt,&uot; the coach insisted. &uot;They like to say they get their ‘mojo’ going and you have to be careful of the spiritual awakening to ‘mojo’ that sometimes occurs when you play there.&uot;

Roberson was complimentary of both Raper and the program at Hunt.

&uot;Coach Raper is a wizard when it comes to the ground game,&uot; he said. &uot;He will quick-pitch you to death, but he also runs straight at you and will come from an angle as well.

&uot;When you go up there, you must have all phases of the game in tact,&uot; Roberson continued. &uot;We’ve had a pretty good week of practice and I believe we’re up to the challenge.&uot;

As the Falcons get ready for game one in the Roberson era, the new skipper said he was trying to teach his team to appreciate each other as a step toward growing as a unit.

&uot;Basically, I’ve been trying to get the guys to honor and respect each other,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;When they do that, they will begin to gel together.&uot;

The coach said his concern would be his club’s youth and inexperience.

&uot;On a whole, we’ve had a good week of practice, but we’re still youthful and immature,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;We’re especially young at the quarterback position where we’ll be starting a freshman. He’s going to make his mistakes, but we believe he will progress week-by-week. He’s the type of young man that wants to please and succeed.&uot;

The new BHS skipper said he was pleased with his team’s effort in Friday night’s scrimmage and that he believed the defense was getting better quickly.

&uot;The defense seems to be getting better at an astronomical rate,&uot; he said.

Roberson will lead the Falcons into Wilson at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.

For his part, Cook is working on building a program at Northeast Academy where the Eagles were winless last season and now face the task of learning a new system.

The coach said he was pleased with the way they were taking things in stride.

&uot;I’m most pleased with their ability to catch on to the system I’ve put in place,&uot; Cook said. &uot;They’ve caught on fairly well. Now, if we can execute, we’ll cause some problems.&uot;

The new football skipper said he was bringing in a &uot;mixed bag&uot; on the offensive side of the ball.

&uot;It’s a mixture of a lot of different things, but there’s a method to the madness,&uot; he assured.

Cook said his team was coming along slowly and that they were working each day.

&uot;We’re spotty,&uot; he admitted. &uot;There are times when we’ve looked great, but also times when I’d like to pull my hair out.

&uot;That’s true of all teams, though,&uot; he added.

As far as preparations for Wake Christian, Cook said he didn’t know much about the team.

&uot;Each game will be new for me in that I don’t know the teams well yet,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re going to put in a system and throw in some wrinkles. We’re going to run where they’re not.&uot;

The Eagles will host Wake Christian at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening.