Ahh… the seasons begin

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Friday night marked the official start of the sports season.

After a summer of rest, the boys of the gridiron kicked off their season Friday with four local teams in action. All four of those quads marked up huge season-opening wins.

Hertford County, the game at which I was stationed, looked as sharp as you could hope for in week one. There were the usual missed assignments, but the Bears’ offensive unit looked good. All three backs – Rashawn Mercer, Travis Greene and LaQuan Tann – had moments and quarterback Danny Dembry had his best-yet season opener.

In Wilson, the Falcons of Bertie High School got first-year coach Tony Hoggard off on the right foot, giving him a victory in his debut as the BHS skipper.

From all reports, the Falcons still have much work to do, but appear to be better than many, including yours truly, thought they could be.

At Creeksville either the sports world was proved wrong on an aberration of gigantic proportions occurred when pre-season favorite Roanoke was thumped by lightly-regarded Northampton-East.

Either H.B. Harris’ squad is much better than we thought or Roanoke is much worse. Let’s hope it’s the former.

Rounding out the whirlwind tour, Northampton-West picked up where they left off last season as they rolled past Roanoke Rapids by a final of 44-14.

Diego Hasty’s club appears to be still one of the best in the area and they have a chance to have another special season.

On Saturday I had the opportunity to see Lawrence Academy, Northeast Academy and Halifax Academy scrimmage. The Halifax squad seemed to have been the best of the group, but it’s hard to say for sure because LA skipper Alan Spencer and Eagles’ coach Collin Sneed both played it close to the vest.

Before any of that happened, however, I started my year at a soccer match Friday afternoon during the first game of Ridgecroft School’s Invitational Tournament.

Second-year coach Aaron Martin’s club looked strong as Chris Hill was superb and Evans Jones had a good game, despite being displeased with a few of his own shots.

Hanes Joyner, just a sophomore for the Rams, also had an excellent outing on Friday and appears ready to help this club as they take the next steps toward getting back to a legitimate contender for the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association state 1-A title.

Defensively, the Rams played takeaway very well and kept Hertford County off balance for much of the contest.

For their part, HCHS got the experience that first-year coach Stephan Popadich wanted. As he begins the arduous task of building a soccer program at Hertford County, Popadich seems to have the right attitude and the right understanding of where the team is even as he prepares them to get better.

Coming soon, probably this week, tennis and volleyball will also kick into gear and I’m looking forward to getting started with both of those as well.

Stay tuned, it’s already shaping up to be an exciting year.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.