Bertie awaits Rose

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 2, 2004

WINDSOR – Bertie High School and J.H. Rose have played some quality football games in the past 14 years.

Falcon skipper Willie Roberson is hoping Friday will be one of those, but he knows what he will be facing when the 2-0 Rampants come to town.

&uot;They’re big, strong and physical,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;Not to mention, they have an excellent coaching staff. We have our work cut out for us Friday.&uot;

That tough assignment got even more difficult Tuesday when starting offensive lineman Devin Saunders had surgery on his hand.

&uot;Devin is going to be out at least two weeks and our offensive line as a whole is struggling with nagging injuries,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;We really were trying to stay injury-free, but that hasn’t happened thus far.&uot;

Still, the first-year skipper said his team would be ready to play.

The key for the Falcons will be keeping freshman quarterback Desmond Williams confident, especially early.

&uot;We have to make sure the freshman quarterback doesn’t lose confidence early and we have to have that carry through,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;Then, with everyone else, we must keep our morale high.&uot;

That morale helped the Falcons claim their first win of the season last week when they beat Goldsboro 20-7.

Roberson said he was pleased with some of the things he saw from his team.

&uot;I like the hustle I saw,&uot; he insisted. &uot;They showed a lot of heart and dug down deep. I was happy with our mental and physical toughness last week. The whole team came together.&uot;

That victory also marked the first as a head varsity football coach for Roberson, who had spent 12 seasons as the Bertie Defensive Coordinator.

&uot;Everybody that coaches, no matter at what level, wants to be successful,&uot; Roberson said. &uot;To get that first wins shows you have that ability and that you’re ready to be thrown out to the wolves so to speak.&uot;

Roberson and the Falcons will be looking to upset the highly-regarded Rampants and give the coach his second win when J.H. Rose pays a visit to Bertie Friday night at 7:30 p.m.