Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium dedicated

Published 11:06 am Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WINDSOR – Friday night it became official.

Bertie High School is now the home of Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.

Members of the Bond family joined officials present and past of the Bertie County Board of Education to officially dedicate the stadium in memory of Bond, who was known by many simply as ‘Coach.’

“We are here tonight to officially rename Falcon Stadium in honor of Coach Roy Lester Bond Jr.,” said former BHS Head Football Coach Willie Roberson, who served as Master of Ceremony for the occasion. “Coach Bond was a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, coach and wonderful man. He was also the winningest coach in Bertie High School history.”

Roberson recounted the successes of Bond during his 12-year tenure as Head Football Coach at Bertie. They included five conference championships, multiple awards as Coach of the Year and winning two North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A state football championships – one in 1995 and the other in 2000.

Bond also never had a losing season at Bertie and finished with a .730 winning percentage.

“Coach Bond knew football and he was good to his players, treating everyone the same,” Roberson said.

Roberson, who served as Defensive Coordinator under Bond and later succeeded him, also gave a few of his mentor’s favorite sayings. They included:

Coach, that team doesn’t have jack (expletive);

We must be mobile, agile and hostile; and

If you came here with anything other than winning a state championship on your mind, you might as well go home.

Also on the program was Bertie County Board of Education Chairwoman Emma Johnson. She said the school board was pleased to have made the decision to honor Bond.

“The time has arrived for this special occasion,” Johnson said. “The Bertie County Board of Education has looked forward to the opportunity to honor Coach Bond. He was a coach and teacher to so many.

“In his quiet dignity, Coach Bond touched so many lives,” she added. “Coach Bond has not died. He will live forever in the hearts and minds of the people of Bertie County.”

Bertie County Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr. then took the podium and talked about his memories of Bond. He said the two went to college together, although they didn’t meet, and then coached against each other in Martin County.

“Shortly after I became principal of C.G. White Elementary School, I had an opening for a PE teacher and coach,” Cherry said. “I immediately called Coach Bond.”

After working out details, Coach Bond came to C.G. White. He was then transferred to Bertie High where he became Ninth Grade Coordinator and then later the Head JV Football Coach before becoming the varsity skipper.

“They wanted Coach Bond to leave C.G. White and go to the high school and, even though I didn’t want to lose him, I would never have stood in his way. He came to Bertie and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Next to speak was Louis Harrell, a friend from a local hunting club, who talked about Bond’s love for his family and friends.

“When I first came to the hunting club, Roy welcomed me with open arms, as he did everyone,” Harrell said. “Roy was just a good-hearted guy.”

Harrell talked about their times having fun and enjoying hunting. He said the hunting club would always remember Bond.

Two former players also remembered Bond, Kyle Williford from the 1995 state championship team and Michael Morris of the 1994 team.

Williford talked about his memories of Coach Bond and how he had influenced his life. He also remembered Bond’s favorite play, which was called 33 Lead.

“We missed the playoffs in 1994 and the next year, Coach Bond went to the coach’s meeting where they had picked us to finish fifth,” Williford remembered. “He told them we were gonna win the conference and the states too.”

Williford said it meant a lot to him and his teammates for their coach to believe in them and it was a good reason why they did go on to do as their coach predicted.

“The only thing I regret is that Coach left so soon and I never got to tell him how much he meant in my life,” Williford said. “I do know that every day I ride by this school on my way to work and see that state championship sign and smile.”

Morris said he remembered how much Bond meant to him and those who played on his team at Bertie High School. He said despite all the honors he received playing football, it was Bond who gave him the biggest compliment.

“The most significant thing as an athlete was my senior year when Coach Bond named me a team captain,” Morris said. “It meant he saw something in me. If he believed it, I knew it must be true.”

Following the speakers, Roberson honored Sharon Bond, the coach’s widow, who received a bouquet of flowers and a plaque in Bond’s honor.

Bond then recognized members of the Bond family and those who were from his hunting lodge. She also recognized a member of the local media for his commentary on Bond and quoted from it.

“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,” Bond read.

She then thanked everyone in the crowd for being part of the event honoring her late husband.

“Thank you everyone for sharing with us on this special occasion,” Bond said.

Johnson and Bond then unveiled the plaque naming the stadium Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.