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Coach will be missed

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue or walk with kings n nor lose the common touch.”

Those words from “If” by Rudyard Kipling may be the most accurate description of Roy Bond.

A legend in coaching circles for his success during 12 years at Bertie High School, Coach Bond never thought of himself that way. Two state championships, six conference titles and five Coach of the Year awards never changed him.

He was a common man who could talk football with the best of them and still offer a good laugh to someone who didn’t know a thing about the game.

He was a man of common sense and common reasoning. As Norman Cherry said, he was never a man who tried to be something God didn’t make him.

As I’ve prepared to write this description of my feelings in the wake of Coach’s passing, I still haven’t been able to get my arms around it.

As I’ve said many times during my conversations about his passing, I expected us to have the opportunity to enjoy Coach Bond’s wisdom and humor for many years to come and yet now, he’s gone.

I was covering Bertie High School football when he was named to lead the program and I wasn’t sure what to make of the new coach. He was different than anyone who had ever coached at Bertie. Coaches had made Bertie great. Ron Cooke, Bill Hawkins, Chip Williams and Bing Mitchell had all been on the sidelines at Bertie and all were revered for their knowledge and for their ability to prepare for a game.

How would Roy Bond compare to those men? I just wasn’t sure.

As I watched, learned and listened, I quickly found out Roy Bond could hold his own against anyone in the coaching ranks. He was far more knowledgeable than he wanted anyone to know and he was far more competitive than he let on.

There was something of a quiet confidence in the way he carried himself that led to his players giving him their all. They were willing to work hard and believe what he told them.

It paid off twice in his coaching career as the Falcons won the 1995 and 2000 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A state championships.

Despite winning those two state titles, Roy Bond never changed. He was still the same old Roy. He still laughed and joked and he still worked hard to prepare his football teams for battle. He was never satisfied with what he had already accomplished.

When he decided not to return to the sidelines, Coach Bond told me he enjoyed the Price is Right too much. His joke simply was part of the reason Roy Bond was Roy Bond.

He wanted a simpler life and to enjoy some time hunting, fishing and farming. For the past four years, he’s gotten to do just that. I’m glad he did.

Roy Bond deserved longer on the face of this earth and we all deserved more time with him. Unfortunately it was not to be.

Still we can treasure the memories n and there are some great ones n he left us.

I am thankful for having known Roy Bond. He made a difference in my life and I will cherish his memory always.

Questions? Comments?

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

Be careful out there and keep the legacy of Roy Bond fresh in your mind.