Good man, good leader..Great to have him at BHS coach

Published 9:13 am Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have been covering high school sports in the Roanoke Chowan area for almost two decades. During that time I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful young men, coaches and school administrators. Few, if any, of these gentlemen have impressed me as much as new Bertie High School Head Football Coach Greg Watford.

I first met Coach Watford when he took over the head coaching vacancy at Hertford County High School. Like many people that have had the opportunity to get to know Watford, I found myself quickly as impressed with the man as much as I was the coach.

Greg Watford struck me as a gentleman that cared as much about the wellbeing of his players and assistant coaches as he did about their performance on the field and sidelines. What impressed me most was the humility he approached the position with.

He viewed his role as not only an opportunity to make students better football players but even more importantly to better prepare them for life after high school and to become better men. Such traits alone would be reason enough to support his hire as the head coach at my alma mater, but Greg Watford is also a winner.

Bertie High school has a rich football tradition and as a former Falcon myself I wanted to see someone in the role that welcomes the challenge of returning the storied program to elite status. With the hiring of Watford as head coach any concerns I had were immediately replaced with excitement about the future.

Watford brings with him 26 years of coaching experience, 18 of which he was the head coach. As with any coach, he has his own system and his own way of doing things. Some of these changes will be obvious from day one and some will be seen only by those paying close attention. Make no mistake however, there will be a reason behind every decision he makes.

Watford will be taking over a program that went 3-7 last season and I’m certain he knows like I do that success right away may be measured not in wins and losses, but in work ethic, team pride and reestablishing a winning attitude.

Don’t get me wrong, Watford is not taking over a program in shambles. Coach Tony Hoggard did a great job as skipper of the Falcons and his presence on the sidelines will be missed. He has guided the team well and has made all of us who know him, coached him or in my case played for him very proud.

While I am certain that Hoggard’s absence from the coaching staff will take some getting used to, I could think of no better person to step into the awfully big shoes he left to fill than Greg Watford.

I hope my fellow Falcon supporters are as excited about this hire as I obviously am. Greg Watford is what we in the south call good people. He will do a fine job as both a teacher, a mentor, a leader and a football coach, of that there is no doubt.

I hope as you see him around town and come to Roy Bond Jr. Stadium in the fall, you will continue to show him and those young men your support. We have shown him how scary it can be roaming the visitors sidelines, let’s show him the love that comes along with being the head football coach of the two-time state champion Bertie High School Falcons.

Go get ‘em coach….we got your back.

David Friedman is a long-time contributor to the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at