Meet the Falcons went well

Published 11:38 am Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WINDSOR – Saturday morning dawned hot and bright.

Bertie High School officials are hoping those two things will continue as they prepare for the 2010 athletic season. It was on Saturday morning that BHS hosted its inaugural “Meet the Falcons” event.

“It was an awesome day,” Bertie High School Principal G. Fisher Mitchell said. “The spirit that was brought to the athletic complex was exciting. We had representation from the community we haven’t had for a long time.”

During the more than two-hour session, fans of Bertie High School were able to tour the athletic facilities, meet coaches and players and see a demonstration of both the varsity and junior varsity football teams.

“I thought it was outstanding,” BHS Athletic Director Marvin Rankins said. “We had a great turnout from the community, especially for the first time we’ve hosted this type of event.”

Parents and fans were able to hear from Rankins about the plans for the upcoming year and had an opportunity to sign a sportsmanship pledge along with the student-athletes.

Immediately afterwards, fans were able to see the new state-of-the-art weight room at the school and then made their way to the football field inside Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.

Once at the field, new Bertie High School football boss Greg Watford invited fans and parents down onto the field to get a first-hand look at some of the plays the Falcons plan to use during the coming season.

“I think the most fun part of the day was when the coaches allowed the parents and community down onto the field,” Mitchell said. “The excitement was so thick you could cut it with a knife.”

Watford said that was all part of allowing the fans to see what is happening with the local squad.

“We wanted the community to know this is their football team,” Watford said. “It was exciting for us to see that kind of excitement around what we’re trying to do. The number of Falcon faithful who turned out was just humbling.”

Watford had his offensive unit run through a series of plays before Defensive Coordinator Mike Dail led his unit through a few walk-throughs. On the other end of the field, Bertie High School JV Football Coach Grantley Mizelle had his unit working through similar drills.

Afterwards, Watford did something he’s rarely done in his 20 years as a Head Football Coach – he allowed parents, fans and siblings to don uniforms of the players for photos.

“I appreciate the excitement of the kids – not just the ones playing for us, but the ones in the community as well – and the community members,” Watford said. “It was great for them to be able to put on jerseys and helmets and pose for photographs.

“In the end, the people who benefited the most were our kids,” he continued. “These young men were so excited about having that type of community support. They’ve never experienced anything exactly like it before.”

He said the players left the field still marveling at the support they received.

“They felt like NFL players out there,” Watford said. “That’s the type of attention they received.”

Mitchell said during the off-season he had learned something about football that excited him, especially after Saturday’s event.

“When we were interviewing for a new football coach, one of the candidates brought out that football often sets the tone for your school year,” Mitchell said. “That’s because they are the first ones in competition. He said that many times, however your football team goes, so will be the year.

“The attitude and atmosphere that was here Saturday makes us believe we’re in for a great year,” he added.

Rankins was in agreement.

“There was so much excitement and enthusiasm in the air, I think it was a great success,” the AD said. “Now we want that same enthusiasm to carry over into our entire athletic season.”