Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium becomes reality

Published 4:35 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

WINDSOR – The legacy of Roy L. Bond Jr. will live on.

Monday night, the Bertie County Board of Education assured that future generations will always remember the man referred to simply as “Coach” when they unanimously agreed to name the football stadium at Bertie High School in his honor.

Bond was a five-time Coach of the Year in his dozen seasons at the helm of the Falcon football program and captured the school’s only two state championships in the sport. They were won in 1995 and 2000.

Discussions began shortly before his death in June of 2008 about naming the stadium in his honor and the issue was discussed by the school board last month, but tabled until discussions with the late coach’s wife, Sharon Bond, were able to be held.

Board member Pamela Chamblee asked that the item be added to Monday’s agenda. When the time arrived to discuss it, she asked if there had been contact with Sharon Bond and if the coach’s widow was in favor of having a facility named in his honor.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Chip Zullinger said he had someone contact her and she was appreciative and open to the idea.

Board member Alton H. Parker said he would like to see the stadium bear the coach’s name with board member Rickey Freeman suggesting naming the football field in his honor.

Board Chairwoman Emma H. Johnson and Chamblee echoed Parker’s thoughts.

“I want to see Coach Bond honored and also leave open the possibility that if another coach were successful, he could be honored as well,” Freeman said. “As long as we name one of them (the field or the stadium), it doesn’t matter to me which one.”

Chamblee then made the motion to honor Bond by naming the football stadium at Bertie High School in his honor. The motion passed without objection.

Board members said they wanted the dedication done before the current football season ended and scheduled the ceremony for halftime of the October 23 home game against First Flight High School.

Bertie High School Athletic Director Marvin Rankins said he was happy about the board’s decision and thought it was fitting to honor Bond.

“You couldn’t find a better person,” Rankins said. “He was like a mentor. When you say the word ‘coach,’ he was the definition of what one should be.

“I’ll always remember how he genuinely cared for the kids who played for him,” Rankins continued. “If there is one area I try to pattern myself after Coach Bond, it is the way he treated and cared for kids at Bertie High School.”

Bond’s family and former coaching colleagues are expected to be invited to the dedication ceremony.