Be on your best behavior at rivalry game

Published 6:45 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The place will be rocking when the clock strikes 7:30 p.m. this coming Friday.

As is customary, whenever Hertford County High School meets Bertie High School in any sport, that game draws a crowd, whether it’s played in Ahoskie or on the outskirts of Windsor.

The rivalry between these two schools pre-dates those who will be participating in this year’s annual pigskin clash. The competitors on the field this coming Friday night – dressed in either blue or gold – weren’t even born – perhaps their parents were not born – when these two schools first met decades ago on the field of play.

And it makes no difference what the won-loss records are of each school when they meet. As the old saying goes, ‘throw the records out the window when Bertie and Hertford County square-off.” There have been quite a few great games between the Bears and the Falcons over the course of their long-standing rivalry, and this year promises to be no different.

Typically in any given year, it’s not those dressed for battle on the gridiron that cause any sort of problems. Rather, it is the die hard fans of both schools – separated by roughly 20 miles of two-lane asphalt known as US 13 – that often allow their emotions spill over. When that occurs, trouble usually isn’t very far behind. What we hope does not happen is for law enforcement to intervene. Whenever that happens it leaves an ugly stain on high school athletics…..players, coaches and fans alike.

We encourage fans of both schools to attend the 2019 Hertford-Bertie football game on Friday night, Nov. 8 at Roy Bond Stadium near Windsor. Proudly wear your team colors and shout words of support for your team. Stand proud in victory, and be gracious in defeat.

Please refrain from allowing the heat of battle to cloud your good judgment. What is not needed is for the fans from both sides to engage in anything other than friendly conversation with each other before, during and after the game. Don’t embarrass yourself or your team by reacting negatively to the game’s outcome. In other words, show class, poise and dignity.

While athletic contests of any variety are won or loss on a particular day and they quickly become only a memory, good sportsmanship lasts forever.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald