Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday morning reflections

It's Saturday morning and the news comes from Associated Press that screen legend Paul Newman has lost his battle with cancer at age 83.

That 's definitely a bummer. I could watch "Cool Hand Luke" or "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" at any time.

Moving on to the topic of the morning, the Hunt Warriors are probably in mourning after Friday night's debacle, a 38-9 loss to Fike. Not even a reunion of Hunt's first varsity football team, the 1978 Warriors who went unbeaten in the regular season, could motivate the 2008 Warriors.

Turnovers, turnovers and more turnovers are killing Hunt. This is not the team that blew out Bertie to open the season (although Bertie, as it now seems, probably isn't that good). But three weeks ago at Fike, Hunt narrowly lost 14-13 in overtime.

The Warriors have had some injuries but that still doesn't add up to one of, if not the worst start (1-5) in head coach Randy Raper's 18-year career. Hunt gets the week off before opening 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference play against a tough Kinston outfit. The Warriors can turn it around but they'd better do it quick.

The Golden Demons, on the other hand, are playing nearly perfect football each week which is what they have to do, head coach Richie Pridgen reminds.

Fike senior quarterback Michael Brown turns in a quiet near flawless performance each Friday and the Demons' ground game has proven to be explosive.

Fike will certainly get its sternest test of the season Friday when it visits Beddingfield, also 5-0. This should be the biggest clash between Wilson teams since the Warriors and Bruins closed the 2005 regular season.

Back to those '78 Warriors — I didn't recognize some of the guys from the photos taken at Bill's by the Daily Times' Michael Lindsay and at the game by our freelance photog Jimmy Pridgen. Too many years had gone by. But others were instantly recognizable.

Kudos to"brothers" John and Dwight Taylor for putting together this reunion of a team that certainly should go down in Wilson football annals as one of the best.

This fall is also the 25th anniversary of the 1983 Warriors — many were my senior classmates — who were Hunt's first playoff team, going all the way to the Eastern finals. A talented Fayetteville Byrd team (with three future NFL players) ended their season on a cold Friday after Thanksgiving in Warrior Stadium but what a year.

Maybe they'll have a reunion sometime this season, too.

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