Davidson County will always be home to me, but two weeks ago I had the privilege of returning to a place I have fond memories of — my alma mater.
For three years I attended Bluefield College in the beautiful mountains of Virginia. On Oct. 27, my wife Michelle and 3-month-old son Brody, took the 2 1/2 hour trip with me to experience a bit of history. A college mostly known for its basketball team, 2012 marked the first year Bluefield has fielded a football team since the beginning of World War II. With it being the first homecoming game since the 1940s, I could not pass up the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
We arrived in town shortly after 11 a.m. for the 1 p.m. start. For those who know me well, no trip to Bluefield is a complete one without a stop at the Tray King Chinese restaurant. I may have spent as much money eating at that place as I did on tuition.
After a quick bite to eat, we headed over to Mitchell Stadium and took a seat in the stands. The weather was not pleasant. It was an overcast day with light rain showers and a temperature that dipped into the 40s by game’s end.
Huddled up under a blanket, I experienced a memory I will never forget. Sporting his UNC toboggan, Brody could barely move after we packed him in several articles of clothing. It was the first sporting event I have attended with him and it was such a joy to hold him and take it all in. Though he will never remember that day, it is one that will always be special to me.
As anticipated, the game was one-sided with Lindsey Wilson going up 30 after one quarter and cruising to the 47-13 win. But the day was not just about a football game. It was about making memories with my family and celebrating the future of an institution that meant so much to me. A place that not only provided a quality education, but a path to my career.
I was pleased to see one of our local athletes giving Bluefield College a try as well. James Boyd — a linebacker on Thomasville’s 2008 state championship team — plays for the Rams. Listed as a free safety, Boyd played well, making a fine solo tackle in the open field. After the game it was great to go down on the field and catch up with him.
Our day concluded with friends around the dinner table before the long trip back.
There is no place like home, but to me there is no place like Bluefield College, either.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or email@example.com.