Bumpy ride home for Pam PackPublished 7:03pm Monday, December 9, 2013
Talk about a long bus ride home.
After falling 42-15 to T.W. Andrews in the East Regional round of the playoffs Friday night in High Point, the Washington football team’s bus malfunctioned, causing smoke to become visible on the outside of the vehicle.
As a result, some members of the team did not get home until nearly 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning.
“We got on the bus at about 10:30 (p.m.), we had just left the stadium when there was a little jolt on the bus and a few minutes later we saw some smoke,” Washington coach Sport Sawyer said. “The bus driver stopped the bus and told us to get off, so we got the kids off and away from the bus. I never saw fire, we just saw smoke.
“… Some parents came back and got their kids, but we still had about 30-something players ride home on the activity bus.”
Washington athletic director Alison Jones, who happened to be on the school’s other charter bus, came back to lend a helping hand and oversee things until all the remaining players and coaches were safely headed home.
“We had some board members that were there helping out and Alison Jones did a great job of handling the situation,” Sawyer said. “It was just one of those nights.”
Thanks to the aid of the Touchdown Club, the players had sandwiches and water to hold them over during the delay. An assist from T.W. Andrews allowed Washington to finally head home.
“We left there at about one o’clock when the A.D. from Andrews got us one of their busses and we used that,” Sawyer said. “I think it was about a 4:15 (a.m.) when we pulled up to Washington High School.”
It was a long night for the Pam Pack, who saw its season come to an end only a little bit earlier as Washington (12-3), the No. 3 seed in the East, fell short against the top-seeded Red Raiders.
Washington fell behind 15-0, before running back Markel Spencer ripped off a 52-yard touchdown run, making the score 15-7.
However, the Raiders added one more touchdown before halftime to expand their lead to 22-7 at the break.
In the second half, T.W. Andrews was able to further separate from the Pack en route to a 42-15 victory and an appearance in the NCHSAA 2-AA state title game.
“All year long we’ve been a team that was fueled by momentum and we just couldn’t get any Friday night,” Sawyer said.
Washington, who had previously won 10 straight games, finished the season with a school-record 12 wins to make it to state semifinals for the first time since 1956.
Sawyer said this season has been a memorable one and thanked the team’s supporters.
“I would like to say to thank you to the school and Principal (Russell) Holloman for giving us a send off, and also say thank you to the fans,” Sawyer said. “We had almost as many fans at that game as they did. That’s huge. We had a great turnout of fans this year and we’d like to thank them for supporting us.”