Some notable quotes from area high school football coaches in the past 45 years or so:
“We’re going to buy you the best meal money can buy. Driver, find me a McDonald’s.” – Erwin High football coach Phil Byrd said leaping onto the team bus after a playoff win.
“That ain’t football.” – Erwin’s Byrd, who believed in the running game, after giving up a touchdown on an unorthodox play to a Wake Forest team coached by Rock Harrison. Byrd threw down his clipboard and jumped on it for emphasis.
“I thought I was a coaching genius with all those trick plays. Later on, I figured out I just had a bunch of athletes. Just give them the ball.” – Former Wake Forest football coach Harrison, talking about plays like a double reverse pass to the tackle.
“That’s the great thing about high school football. Nobody knows what is going to happen, sometimes not even the coach. You never know what kids are going to do.” – Glenn Nixon, the glib former coach at Clayton, explaining a reality of high school football. The Comets had faked a punt deep in their own territory and had been stopped.
“That’s Graham Myrick’s calling card. He’s letting you know that you can know what they’re going to run and you still can’t stop it. He runs the double reverse on the first play of every game.” – Clayton’s Nixon said after a loss to Fuquay-Varina in which the Bengals ran a double reverse from the Wing-T formation for big yardage on the first play.
“We knew he was good. We didn’t know he was from another planet.” – Charlotte Harding assistant coach Tim Gillespie after Garner’s Anthony Barbour ran for 265 yards and four touchdowns in the 1987 state championship game.
“Let me hold on to you for a second.” – Northern Durham coach Ken Browning, feeling a little dizzy after a state playoff victory. He was intense on the sidelines.
“I don’t ask you to help me to coach my team. Don’t ask me to help you write your story.” – A former coach, who will go unnamed, while declining to talk to a reporter after a game.
“See you little guys later.” – Former N.C. State All-America and NFL defensive tackle Dennis Byrd after talking to reporters while coaching at Wake Forest High.
“This one is on you. We win one game and you go sticking us in your poll.” – Another coach, who shall go unnamed, to me after his team lost a game at Fuquay-Varina while being ranked No. 1 in the area.
“If the other coaches are picking us No. 1 in the preseason this year then they will pick us No. 1 every year. We’ve got something like a half-dozen starters back.” – Northern Durham’s Browning, who was facing a rebuilding year. Northern Durham was unbeaten during that regular season.
“We got what we deserved. Fumbles, penalties, missed plays, lining up wrong. We just were not ready to play” – former Southeast Raleigh coach Daniel Finn, sending a message to his team, including some members who missed a Labor Day practice and were late for practice the next day, after a 3-0 loss to Enloe in 2008.
“It was time to quit when I kept reliving the losses. It bothered me too much. It was time to quit.” – Former Smithfield-Selma coach Elbert Moye.
“Losses? To tell you the truth, I don’t remember any. Maybe that’s why I could coach so long” – Clayton’s Nixon when asked about his career record.