The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 7, 2012

Are you really a loyal local high school football fan?

Van Holland

TARBORO — Are you really a true high school football fan of your local team?

I guess the answer to that just depends on how you look at that part of the question. The Tarboro Vikings have a lot of people who come to their football games every Friday night and cheer them on, but are all of them really true and loyal fans?

After Tarboro was defeated by East Lincoln Saturday in Winston-Salem I heard a lot of talk coming from behind me in the stands about the coaching staff and the players. Some of it really got away with me and I just shook my head in disgust and couldn't believe what I was hearing.

I sure hope those people really don't consider themselves true loyal Viking supporters, because if you are then I would hate to see a fan who disliked them at their worst.

The thing people forget is that the Vikings have made five consecutive state championship game appearances and won three of them. Also don't forget that the team is made up of all teenage boys who are ages 14-17 years old.

Another fact the fans forget is that Tarboro has posted a record of 72-6 since the 2008 season and haven't lost a game at home in over four years. Before the loss Saturday, they were riding a 19 game playoff win streak and a 20 plus game winning streak dating back to last season.

Do you really know what the coaching staff does and how much time they put into each game for preparation?

I bet not, but I will let you know even though you are a true Vikings supporter.

After every game on Friday night, the coaches gets a small amount of rest and then they are back at work on Saturday and Sunday preparing a game plan for their team for their next opponent. These coaches rarely get to spend time with their families because of the amount of time they put into each and every game and the entire season. We are talking about six months of hard work and dedication by the coaching staff alone and no they don't rich from coaching.

Tarboro head coach Jeff Craddock works tirelessly every week making sure his team is well prepared for their opponents that Friday night and hardly gets to spend time with his lovely family, especially his four children.

Did you know that? I bet not.

Some of the chatter or shall I say disrespectful talk I heard in the stands makes you just wonder what are people really thinking when they come to a sporting event that kids are a playing in and say the things I heard.

Coach what are you thinking?

Why did you run that play?

Get him out of the game, he isn't good enough to play.

Give the game away since you don't want to win.

That is just a few things I heard, because I can't go into detail how some of those things were said in public Saturday and better yet there were children in the stands that had to hear that type of stuff. How disrespectful.

The question that most of the time lingers after a team loses a high school football game is, why did the coach run those plays or give that player the ball?

But if a team is winning like the Vikings have been doing for five years straight, those questions rarely get asked. They got asked Saturday though.

Here is an answer for you that in my relationship with Coach Craddock I feel like he would respond with.

He would probably say, we ran those plays because that is what has worked for Tarboro Vikings football team all season. Why would we want to fix something if it isn't broke?

I remember after the Vikings defeated a team last season heading into the fourth round of the playoffs, I believe it was, a fan walked over to the coaching staff after the teams post game talk and said coach, you should run some of what that team ran against you guys.

Wait a minute. Why would you even say that? They had just defeated that team and that means their plays didn't work because Tarboro stopped them.

The question remains, how loyal of a high school football fan are you?

Sit back and think about that and think about it next time you want to disrespect the coaching staff or players on the field.