Talking Football with Coach Earl Bates, head football coach for the Northeast Guilford Rams

Here is our talk today with Coach Earl Bates, the head football coach at Northeast Guilford High School…..

A Seven-on-Seven Series of questions for Coach Bates…

1)For your program to reach the playoffs, what will your record need to be this season?
Coach Bates:We were (6-5) last season and we need to one of the Top Three in our Mid-State 3-A Conference to insure that we can make the playoffs…The favorites will be the usual suspects, Western Alamance, Eastern Alamance and Northern Guilford….

2)Who will be your team leaders on Offense, Defense, and Special Teams?
Coach Bates:On Offense we will look to LT Anthony Hairston to lead us…Special Teams it will be Zeke Nicholson….On Defense it will fall into the hands of, Joseph Waters(ILB), Anthony Hairston(DE), Josh Butler-Garner(CB), and Chantz James(DT)….

3)What do remember about about your football practice days, back when you were playing high school football?
Coach Bates: Loved the chance to be a part of a high school football program, back in my high school days at Eastern Guilford High School…We looked forward to the start of practice, on August 1…We loved the beginning of a new football year. The heat was around back then, but we were better prepared for the heat, since we stayed outside all of the time any way, and today most kids spend much more time inside, and out of the heat in the Summer….

4)Why do you love coaching football?
Coach Bates: As a player, your playing days are over, but now as a coach, you get to play that Chess Match against your opposing coaches….I like the relationships you develop with your players, and seeing the players develop…We had a former player come back and speak to our team this morning(Saturday) and that makes it all worth the while…Seeing them develop to that point, where they can come back and lift up your current team…It shows you instilled something right into those young men…

5)If you weren’t coaching football, what would you be doing?
Coach Bates: When I am done coaching, I might just open up a Dump Truck business and if that does happen, I would drive by the school with a load of dirt, and blow the horn…Coach Bates has been coaching high school football for 29 years, with 20 of those years spent at Reidsville High School, as an assistant…Coach Bates still might be a few years away from driving by Northeast Guilford High School, on Hicone Road, in his Dump Truck filled with dirt and blowing the horn at the Rams……You can almost see him in that Dump Truck driving by the school and blowing the horn, while the Rams are out there on that side field, and practicing football…..”Here comes Coach Bates, be sure to throw up your hand”…….

6)Best team in the county other than your Northeast Guilford Rams?
Coach Bates: I think about Coach Tinsley, and the job he is doing developing the Southeast Guilford program, then as always you have the Dudley Panthers, you also have Page, Grimsley and Northern Guilford to look out for/watch…

7)What’s the first thing you do in practice each day?
Coach Bates: We begin each day with team meetings by position…We then hit the field with stretching by position…We gather to talk about the jobs of the day, we have a ‘Rah-Rah moment’ and then we get to work on special teams…We rotate punt returns and kickoff returns each day….

Great to catch up with Coach Bates today and be sure keep an ear out for the Dump Truck, as it heads down Hicone Road, sometime down the road…Coach Bates will get the job done again this year at Northeast Guilford, and his time spent as an assistant coach at Reidsville HS, and as a head coach at Morehead, Southern Guilford and now at Northeast Guilford has led to his teams not only making the playoffs, but being “Playoff Ready”, and playoff contenders each season…..

We will be getting out to NEG and grab a video interview with Coach Bates, in the next few days….