Special bond unites Princeton football team

Special bond unites Princeton football team (Image 1)
Special bond unites Princeton football team (Image 1)

Kids growing up in the small Johnston County town of Princeton dream of playing football for the Bulldogs.

“We played on that field as kids. It’s the only thing that Princeton has. And seeing the lights and thinking about growing up, just being where I am now,” said senior lineman Waylon Woodall. “It’s been a dream.”

But some 40 years ago, that dream was nearly shattered.

Princeton High School was to consolidate with North Johnston High School unless the Bulldogs could field a football team.

And Princeton has ever since.

“It’s a heritage that we’ve built in with the guys and they take honor in knowing they’re carrying on that tradition from their family,” said head coach Derrick Minor.

That tradition is on display come game day. The players just have to look in the stands for a reminder.

“Every Friday, there’s always somebody coming back, watching us play,” said quarterback Michael Wooten.

Bonds are formed early for the players.

“It’s just something different, where you are going to have relationships that last a lifetime,” Minor said.

Wooten said he wishes he could do it all over again.

Princeton’s first home game is against North Edgecombe Sept. 5.

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