from Daniel Kennedy at www.hpe.com sports
Even in defeat and despite the fact that they got beat, this year’s Ragsdale football team remains close and they’ve been like that for many years…..
Here’s Mr. Kennedy who was over on Lincoln Street last Friday night covering the game for the High Point Enterprise and working for a Franklin and Jefferson, plus a Washington; well here is the heart of the Jamestown community, the Ragsdale Tigers….
GREENSBORO â€“ The Ragsdale Tigers have built a stellar football tradition over the last decade.
In surveying the high school football landscape, the type of winning consistency the Tigers have exhibited with immense class reminds at least one writer of the NFLâ€™s Indianapolis Colts. Led throughout the 2000s by a regime characterized by integrity and a penchant for putting together consecutive winning seasons, the two programs produce eerie similarities.
â€œYou canâ€™t say enough good things about our kids,â€ Ragsdale coach Tommy Norwood said. â€œTheyâ€™ve won three straight conference championships; theyâ€™ve not lost a conference game in three years. Weâ€™re proud of what weâ€™ve done.â€
Much like the Colts, however, Ragsdale has also encountered a nemesis in the postseason that remains hard to escape. For the second year in a row, the Tigers were bounced by a Dudley team on pace to bag its third straight title.
In the professional ranks, the New England Patriots have won three Super Bowls this decade and for years became the hump Indianapolis could not get over. Ragsdale is painfully aware of the frustration that comes from ending its season prematurely, but realizes the significance of how successful the program has become thanks to a tightly knit nucleus.
â€œWeâ€™re really like brothers. Thatâ€™s not an exaggeration at all,â€ senior linebacker Billy Stone said. â€œI love all these guys to death â€“ weâ€™re one big family. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so hard to lose, because you hurt as much for the person next to you as you do for yourself.â€
It is this unselfish mindset that has allowed Norwood and a community of devoted citizens to build such a tremendous culture surrounding the program in Jamestown.
Although the veteran group that led Ragsdale to an outstanding 2009 season loses more than 20 members to graduation, the architect remains confident in the long-term future of his squad.
â€œQuality kids, quality parents,â€ Norwood summarized. â€œI canâ€™t say enough about them. (The seniors) will be hard to replace.â€