Thursday, September 11, 2008

RMHS feels NCWC's transplant pain!

Sitting in the Northern Nash's Death Valley Stadium press box during N.C. Wesleyan's football season-opener with Hampden-Sydney Sunday was quite thought-provoking.

After all, I was used to seeing the Bishops play at the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex - not at Death Valley. The Bishops played before a little over 1,000 fans in falling to the Tigers 33-23.

Despite all the fine hospitality shown by the administrators at Northern, NCWC's team and fans had to feel displaced. After four years at the RMAC, moving seven miles west to Death Valley couldn't feel the same.

And it didn't.

Now NCWC is going through what several Rocky Mount High sports teams have endured over time. At least six, to my memory, have had to pack up and leave their friendly confines to play on, what essentially, is a neutral floor or field.

The first one I could conjure up was the 1968-69 RM boys basketball team. Because of a water pipe that broke under the gym floor, the entire home schedule was played at Wesleyan's Everett Gymnasium. But back then, at least there were no girls teams to be inconvenienced.

But they were during the 1999-2000 hoop campaign.

All the Gryphon home basketball games (JVs and varsity, boys and girls) were moved to Northern Nash for that entire season due to water that had gotten under the gym's floor. It caused the floor to warp in so many places that it made it unplayable.

Going out to Northern Tuesdays and Fridays got old real quick!

Then in the fall 2002, the football field at the RMAC was deemed unplayable and it required, as it turned out, $70,000 worth of repairs. Too much soccer, JV football, middle school football - you name it.

The Gryphons had to move over to the Dawg Pound at Nash Central for all their home games that season.

I just hope the Bishops get use to their new temporary home faster than I got use to moving all over Nash County.