We had the post here at the site back on December 4 right after the Paoge Pirates had won their 4-AA Championship over the Garner Trojans and the title of the post back on Dec. 4 was, “Times were pretty Tight/Tough over at Page HS back in 1970 and 1971…..We received a great E-mail response from Mr. Ford, now living down in Texas and we want to share this with you today…..In response/rebuttal to our post back on December 4, 2011…..Good stuff here with a lot of key names so check it out….
Let’s clear up some things about the post that was on Greensboro Sports.
I would like to start with Coach Steve Yates! Yes coach Yates ran tough and Demanding Practices and No I had never seen Coach Yates run any players off. If you quit, you Quit because you wanted to QUIT.
No one was given a free pass not Ray(Harrison), Phil(Wise), Kim(Smith) or myself. We knew going in what it was like and was willing to put in the work to be a Page PIRATE Football player. Yes it was Hell but it was also fun..lol
I played on the 1969 JV Team with Orsure Wray Stokes (WR/DB), Fred Marshall (FB/DT),Todd Fields (QB),Alvin (Jo Jo)Donnell. It was funny because Jo
Jo and I did not play Jr High football. We played Pop Warner (and ended up losing
to some team from Maryland in the Southeastern Regional championship game in
College Park Maryland). Lol So Jo Jo and I didn’t have the name that a lot of
the kids that played Jr High football did coming in to page. I was mostly known
for Track in Jr High. So they were like what are you doing here..lol. By the
end of two a days Both Jo and I where starting on the JV team for Coach Long .
We went 9-1 that year. I remember that Coach Yates would send for me to play
running back on the scout team some time against the varsity and would get mad
if they could not tackle me..lol. He would say “Hells Bells Ford run through
the hole so they could hit you”..lol That was funny to me. The 1970 season we
went 7-3 the backfield was P.Wise, K.Smith, Ray @ QB and myself . Bob Taylor,
J.McMillan, J. Blake, R. Ball, R. Shepard Played on the line. The JV team Had D. Blue, G.Rice. Vince Evans would have been on that team if he had played football that
year. Vince did play on the JV basketball team but transferred to Smith for the
1971 season. I cannot remember any players by the name of Frank Grezycek are
Ron Smith that I played with. I remember Tim Harris and Garson Rice.
When David Dowd blows out his knee and Todd Fields hurt also,
Tim Harris stepped in and did a great job. C. Moore was the back up for P.Wise
at Fullback, Garson Rice and Eddie Dungee played the other wing back, and a kid
named M.Brooks was my back up. So some of the statements by Mr Smith are true
but not all! Yates and Long had hard practices but they were fair coaches. You
had to earn the right to call yourself a page pirate and wear the Red, And the
ones that did will always have my respect.
We owned high school Football in the city of Greensboro back then and now we own the state again.
Now Andy: Ray Harrison: Outstanding friend and person. Ray,K. Smith and I attended
ProximityJuniorHighSchool and Page high school. I have been in touch with Ray off and on for some time and after reading Ron Smith comments I’m wondering if he knew
Ray Harrison at all. One reason is Ray was in the class of 71 and there was no way
that Mr Smith could have played with Ray!! He could have seen him play but for
him to say that he played with Ray I find it unbelievable. I have checked all
of my page year books up to 1972 my senior year and I have not seen a Ron Smith
on any team that I played on. Garson Rice would know Ray better because we all
ran on the 400 relay that went to state Rays Senior year (Ray,Rice,Ford , M.
Huntly) Ray played receiver until his Sr year at page then Yates moved him to QB.
Ron Smith should get his facts right on a lot of things that he has stated. This
thing about Ray being on Drugs is and outright lie. No one really knows what happened
at UNC only Ray and what roomers that people like Ron Smith put out there. I
can only repeat what Ray told me when I asked him what happened “It was just too
much pressure on me, everyone wanted something from me and then my Dad passing,
It was just too much pressure. It’s like as long as you’re a star everyone is
your friend but when things go bad there is no one that wants to be your friend are
around you” I just told him that they were not your friends from the start then!!. I cannot say what Rays Diagnosis is because, all I need to know is that he is doing fine and that is all his true friends and I need to know.
Ray Harrison should be in the Hall of Fame in Guilford County and it makes me wonder why he is not?? The first two sport All American in the history of the city of Greensboro but he is not in the Hall of Fame.
Come on now!!!!
Very well said, by Mr. Ervin Ford Jr.