Are you ready for some football!

Published 4:26 pm Sunday, August 4, 2013

AHOSKIE – Moving up by moving down.

Last year Hertford County High School was 8-4 and lost in the second round of the state 3A football playoffs.

This year the Bears, who have been 3A since the school first opened in 1988, will move down to 2A in hopes of improving that mark.

And it all starts with the first day that the state mandates that football practice can begin.

“We got about 75 kids, and that’s not bad for a first day,” said fifth-year HCHS head coach Scott Privott. “The numbers look real good and I’m very impressed.”

“Now I need to find out how hard they’ll work,” he said with a sly wink as he prepared to blow his whistle.

The Bears open the season on Aug. 23 at Class 1A S.E. Halifax in Halifax where they’ll look across the field at former HCHS coach Greg Watford, now an assistant with the Trojans. Hertford County will then line up against four straight 3A opponents beginning with a Thursday game on Aug. 29 at former Big-8 foe, Wilson Hunt.  The next game will be the Bears’ home opener on Sept. 6 against Rocky Mount. Then on Sept. 13 they have another home date, this one with Nash Central at Bear Stadium. The final non-conference game on Hertford County’s schedule will be at South Central in Winterville on Sept. 20.

“This is probably one of the biggest classes we’ve had since I’ve been here,” continued Privott. “We’ve got about 19 seniors. My quarterback is back, my running backs are back, and we’ve got a couple of our wide receivers from last year.”

Hertford County will open conference play against Edenton J.A. Holmes at home on Sept. 27. That game will be followed with the match-up against rival, Bertie High, on Oct. 4 in Windsor. Because of the new conference realignment, this will be the first time in the two schools’ history that they have not met in conference on the last night of the football regular season.

“Across the ball we’ve got a couple of defensive linemen back,” Privott went on to say. “O’Shane (Ximenes, a pre-season All-State selection) is back and he’s sort of the heart of our defense much like Ryan (quarterback, Weaver) and Kenny (running back, Sharpe) are the heart of our offense.”

After the Bertie contest, Hertford County celebrates Homecoming Oct. 11 against Pasquotank. Following an open date on Oct. 18 the Bears will play at Northeastern on Oct. 25 and then comes their home finale against First Flight on Nov. 1.  The Bears will close the regular season at Currituck on Nov. 8 with the 2A state playoffs beginning on November 15.

Back to the pre-season and Privott closed it by saying, “We’ll find out how things go when we go to Roanoke Rapids (scrimmage) on Aug. 10.”