‘Buzz’ surrounds Falcons

Published 9:56 am Friday, July 9, 2010

One of the things I miss most about living in the Roanoke-Chowan area is Friday nights in the fall. Covering and reporting basketball, soccer and even volleyball was fun, but nothing beat football back home.

Since I moved down to Wilmington I rarely write about prep athletics because, honestly, I don’t feel like I’m close enough to the situation to accurately discuss it. When something is big enough however that the “buzz” surrounding it travels the three hours down to southeastern North Carolina, I don’t mind mentioning it in my column.

That is exactly what has happened with the Bertie High School football program. I left no doubt a few months ago that I fully supported the naming of Greg Watford as the Falcons’ Head Coach. I felt and continue to feel that he will do a wonderful job of developing not only good football players, but young men.

It appears that I am not alone in this view. Over the last two months, I have received several emails and had multiple discussions with people pleased and impressed with the positive strides within the football program already.

The remodeling of the weight room into what has been described as a strength and training facility will be good not only for the football program but the entire athletic department. I look forward to stopping by my old stomping grounds in the fall and checking it out.

It is also my understanding that there are to be some changes to the fieldhouse/locker room. To my knowledge, these have not been seriously updated in some time and I am glad to hear they may be making the necessary upgrades now.

While facility projects such as these are vital in regards to how Bertie High School football is viewed from both outside and inside of our community, it is not nearly as necessary as the changes that must be made regarding the mentality of the program.

The most exciting word of Watford’s early success has been of the quick impact he has had on the players and the amount of trust he has already gained from his team. Having known and watched him within multiple programs over the years I expect this to be only the beginning.

If this continues I will have gone from writing a column trying to get people excited about Bertie High School football again to having to write a column reminding them to keep their expectations reasonable.

Regardless I can’t tell you how happy I am, particularly as a graduate of the school and program, to hear a positive “buzz” surrounding the team again. Things are on the “up and up” for the Falcon Football program and word about it is spreading!

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 dave@gate811.net.