Monday, June 15, 2009

Goodbye, B.W. and Barbara!

I guess all good things have to come to an end.

As most of you know, the B.W. Holt football era is over at Rocky Mount. He and his lovely bride Barbara headed west one last time Tuesday afternoon. The couple moved to their home in Bristol, Tenn.

Wes Bradshaw and I had the great pleasure of enjoying a meal with the Holts Sunday evening. We wanted to do something I know many Rocky Mount fans would have loved to do - properly say goodbye to them as they closed a wonderful six-year period in our midst.

Sure, we turned the clock backward and foreward during our two hours together. From the first day we met them back in July 2003 to their plans for the immediate future.

B.W. had earlier commented to me that he had heard that I had put a poll up on line of the top RMHS football moments coached by him. Barbara said she even voted in the poll and he asked what was the top vote getter so far.

"The New Bern game - double overtime win (35-34)," I said.

"I'm not surprised," he said.

He stated that one game put the spotlight on RM's program for the first time since he'd been here. It put the Gryphon program on the map - breaking the Bears' 29-game home winning streak and the team went on to an undefeated Big East 4-A season.

At some point during the evening, Barbara muses that she has no idea what she's going to do with three sofas! I think now she wishes she had conducted more than one yard sale to get rid of so many duplications brought on by maintaining two households.

But they are looking forward to the future, alright, and football will be a focal point.

Every single Saturday this coming fall, they will be watching one of their former Rocky Mount players hit the gridiron.

Barbara says the weekend calendar is about full. From catching Virginia Tech's Stephan Virgil play ECU in Greenville to seeing Terrell Hudgins go for more receiving records as his Elon squad travels to Wake Forest (Whit Barnes will likely be redshirted).

They may catch Nick Hahula and the N.C. Central Eagles take on Duke. Travel to see B.W.'s alma mater UNC-Pembroke and check out two of his most recent products, Chris Pittman and Nick Harrison.

They have tons of guys playing at Winston-Salem State. The Norfolk State (Kendall Noble)-WSSU matchup will be a must-see at the end of the season.

And they just might make it back to Rocky Mount should former Gryphon QB Jason Tyler start tossing to Keith Strickland when Elizabeth City State comes for the Down East Viking Classic.

So they will stay more busy than ever as they leave Rocky Mount. And that's a good thing. Retirement is for doing what you want to do when you want to do it.

And they'll certainly do that. Not to mention more visits to see the grandkids!

With B.W.'s mother living with his sister in the Fayetteville area, the couple will make regular trips back to eastern North Carolina.

So don't be surprised to see them slip into town a time or two.

But B.W. and Barbara - we will still miss you and we will never forget you!