“Huddle up” for your fellow man

Published 3:21 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

For those of you that know me, you know that over the years, athletics has shaped my life. Because of the coaches having such a big influence, the game of football taught me so many valuable lessons between two white lines. So, let us think “outside the box” for this one article. Having heroes that lived in the neighborhood like Marshall Todd Singleton, Mickey and Steve Cochran, Ted Day, Billy Pittman and later in life Dink Mills, these men impacted my life along with every coach that I had and even later, Bartow Houston and Carl Jones. We have all learned a lot about life through athletics and I am indebted to them for the lessons I learned.

Having coached for 48 years there is one thing that I noticed and it could play a factor in how we handle our current global situation. Please let me explain in my own words what I think could happen. In a game of football after every play, the defense and offense has to “huddle up” to get the next play from the sideline. In that huddle are tall men, small men, white men, black men, rich and poor men, all holding hands waiting for the play to be called by one man, usually the quarterback. The quarterback has the option to change the play call at the line of scrimmage and all 10 of the players trust him in what he calls from the line of scrimmage. The other 10 completely trust him with the option to change the play call. Now, all 11 men have to carry out their assignment or the play fails, and it does not take but one to not carry out his job.

You see, a huddle is a microcosm of our society today and with this growing pandemic and other problems we are having, would it not be nice to have all people just “huddle up?” There should be more coaches that play a part influencing the lives of citizens everywhere. There should be more heroes that set good examples for our youth to follow. Dr. Billy Graham once said, “That a coach will affect more lives in a year that others can in a lifetime”. So true or it was for me.

It is an easy solution for our society – we just have to “huddle up,” hold hands and trust the one man that steps into the huddle and call the play. He wants to win as bad as the other 10. We need more good role models from our professional athletes and coaches and let them be paid for what they are really worth.

Folks, we were lucky in more ways than one. We grew up in a period of time where our parents worked hard for a day’s work and were paid accordingly. Yes, we were mischievous but never bad and our children do not want to be either. Please encourage your kids to participate in school athletics or any club their school offers. They will be better for it!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!

— Harold Jr.