Pam Pack to wear new helmets, see new opponents

Published 5:09 pm Friday, April 24, 2009

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Along with new additions to the football schedule, the 2009 Washington Pam Pack football team will have a fresh look.
The players will be sporting new helmets this fall. Instead of the customary blue helmets, the Pack will be wearing white helmets with a blue “W” logo.
There will also be some new teams on this year’s schedule, including the Rocky Mount Gryphons in non-conference action. Meanwhile, the Pack will also tangle with Jacksonville and White Oak in Coastal Conference play.
The Pack, 8-5 a year ago, opens the season Aug. 21 at home against North Pitt. The teams are 4-4 in the series. Washington took a 33-12 win last year, while North Pitt’s last victory was a 20-13 nod in 2002.
Washington stays at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium for its Aug. 28 game against the Tarboro Vikings in the annual Victory Bell Bowl. The Vikings, who hold a 21-20 series lead, posted a 35-0 win last year. Washington took a 27-10 win in 2006.
Sawyer’s team hits the road for the first time on Sept. 4, but it’s a short jaunt. The Pack will take on the Northside Panthers in a Beaufort County rivalry. Washington won 41-12 last year, while Northside’s last victory was a 28-6 win in 2000.
The Pack closes out non-conference play Sept. 11 at Rocky Mount. The Gryphons, who hold a 4-0 lead in the series, and Pack haven’t played since 1955 when Rocky Mount earned a 45-7 victory.
After a bye week, Washington will begin Coastal Conference play at home Sept. 25. It will be a strictly 3A conference this year because of realignment. Former 4A powers J.H. Rose and New Bern will be in a new conference in 2009.
Jacksonville and White Oak replace Rose and New Bern in the conference.
The Pack opens conference play Sept. 25 against Jacksonville. Washington, which owns a 10-1-1 series lead, hasn’t played Jacksonville since 1964. The Pack took a 16-12 victory that year. Jacksonville’s last win was 22-0 in 1962.
Washington travels to West Craven on Oct. 2. The Eagles ended Washington’s season last year with a 28-7 victory in the second round of the state playoffs. Washington, which owns a 12-11 lead in the series, took a 14-13 victory in 2007.
The Pack stays on the road Oct. 9 for a game at Havelock. Washington earned a 34-25 win over the Rams in the first round of the state playoffs last year, its first playoff victory since 1999. Washington owns a 13-9 series lead. Havelock’s last victory was a 42-21 nod in 2000.
The Pack returns home Oct. 16 to take on White Oak. It will be the first meeting in a decade for the two teams. Washington, which owns a 6-1 series lead, earned a 14-11 win in 1999. White Oak won a year earlier, 18-6 in 1998.
Washington travels to D.H. Conley on Oct. 23. Sawyer’s team, which won 42-6 last year, holds a 13-9-1 series advantage. The Vikings earned a 22-21 win in 2004.
The Pack returns home Oct. 30 to face South Central. The Pack holds a 5-1 series lead, which includes a 26-20 win last year. South Central’s lone win was a 28-21 victory in 2006.
Sawyer’s team closes out the regular season Nov. 6 at home against West Carteret. The Pack, holding a 16-12-1 series advantage, earned a 41-14 victory last year. The Patriots picked up a 34-16 win in 2004.
With a fresh look and some new teams to battle, Sawyer is anxious to kick off the 2009 season.
Aug. 21 – NORTH PITT
Aug. 28 – TARBORO
Sept. 4 – at Northside
Sept. 11 – at Rocky Mount
Sept. 18 – Bye
Oct. 2 – at West Craven *
Oct. 9 – at Havelock *
Oct. 16 – WHITE OAK *
Oct. 23 – at D.H. Conley *
* – Coastal Conference games