Lots to learn about area teams

Published 10:18 am Friday, August 29, 2008

You rarely find out what a team is made of in their first game.

However, we just may have with Hertford County High School’s varsity football team Friday.

Down 22-3 in the first half, HCHS faced a crossroads. They could quit and just let Parkland High School’s team make their way back to Winston-Salem with a victory or they could keep playing.

Diego Hasty’s club had no quit in them. They fought back quickly and had closed the gap to seven (23-16) by the intermission.

As the fourth quarter wound down, Hertford County had claimed a 50-37 lead and notched victory number one for the 2008 campaign.

Certainly its too early to tell what kind of impact Friday night’s gridiron contest will have on the Bears’ season, but it was a testament to the young men who don the blue and gold and what they have worked for during the off-season.

Quarterback Antonio Vaughan, running backs Ron Gatling and Shea Tann all had stellar offensive performances and I was particularly impressed with the aggressiveness of Ivan Coultan on both offense and defense.

Where HCHS will end the season is yet to be determined, but it certain that they started the season well.

Speaking of starting a season well, few knew how well Greg Watford’s Northampton County High School n East club would get out of the gate. The Rams went to East Carteret and rolled to a 34-13 victory.

Watford has the chance to build something special at Northampton-East if he does two things n stays put for several years and keeps the athletes from Conway Middle School interested and eligible. I think he will continue to improve the football fortunes in the eastern half of Northampton County and I’m glad to see the way his season started.

Northeast Academy didn’t get much of a test Friday, but Collin Sneed’s club sent a clear message that they weren’t ready to give up their place in the top half of eight-man football. With a 48-0 lead after one quarter, Sneed also proved the quality of his character, coasting for the final three quarters to take a 60-12 win when it certainly could have been much worse had he not chosen to take it easy.

None of our other clubs were able to notch wins Friday, but both Gates County High School and Lawrence Academy showed a little life. Both programs have second-year coaches who are trying to get things back on the right track.

Lawrence’s Mike Dail has been there before and is a proven commodity. Warrior AD Robert Kravitz is getting what he bargained for. What is impressive in Gates County is Matt Biggy is getting the job done in just his second year ever as a head coach. His learning curve has been small and I think you’ll see the Barons notch a couple more wins this year than last.

Bertie still has some work to do as third-year mentor Tony Hoggard has stressed during the opening month of football. Don’t doubt Hoggard and his ability to have this team competitive once they get inside the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

The season has just begun and there’s much to see. I’m looking forward to it.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome. You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.