by Leslie Rudd, town of Rolesville
ROLESVILLE — Rolesville High football players will run on to a new field in new uniforms later this month; but the inaugural game for the Rams will be the continuation of a long-standing tradition of sports in Rolesville.
The season opener marks the first game for the team, under the leadership of head coach Jermaine Evans. It also marks a milestone for the community, as this game will be the first high school football game played in town in 52 years.
When Rolesville High’s last standing football team — then known as the Blue Devils — ended their final season in 1961, they didn’t have a great record to look back on. “We lost a lot,” former player Larry Averette with a chuckle. “We had so many guys playing both [offense and defense], that we were beat.”
And, though Averette notes that the team did win its final game against Wendell High School, the stats aren’t what stuck with the players as they graduated and moved on from the halls of Rolesville High.
“The camaraderie was absolutely great,” said former player Glenn Scarboro. “That really stayed with us over the years.”
Bringing in the extra touch downs is great, but that’s not the focus of the Rams’ first season, said athletics director Tommy Moore. “We want these kids to play hard, learn good sportsmanship and be good leaders of the school,” he said. “What I remember, looking back to my years in school sports isn’t the number of wins, but the times when we had really great teams that worked together.”
That was the Rolesville Blue Devils’ enduring legacy, and that’s what Evans hopes to instill in the new Rolesville Rams. “We hope to have the same cohesiveness that these former players did.”
That’s why Averette, Scarboro, Blue Devils’ team manager Ronald Wall and other alum will address the Rams in the locker room before they take to the field for the first time on Thursday, August 29. “We want the kids to understand the history,” said Evans, “where they came from and where they’re going.”
The Rolesville Rams will kick off at 6:30 p.m. at the new Rolesville High School stadium, 1099 E. Young Street. Tickets are $6 at the gate.
For more information about the game or about Rolesville High athletics, go to rolesvillehs.com or call 919-554-6303.