Saturday, November 25, 2017

There's nothing quite like Rivalry Week.

It's what I look forward to most in college football season, taking on the UNCheat Tarholes Tarheels. There is no team that most State fans hate more. Plus, being the last home game of the season, it was Senior Day, and we had to say goodbye to the best class this program has seen in ages. That was pretty bittersweet. This almost made up for it, though.

Yes, sir. We beat our arch rivals in what turned out to be a very weird, very tense, very messy game. But hey, a win's a win! While we didn't meet expectation this season, this was our Coach's best record in his tenure here. PLUS, it's the first time we've gotten six conference wins since 1994. Yeah, I know.

Celebrating the win didn't take away the frustration of losing twenty extremely talented men, but I know most of them have careers in the NFL waiting for them. I was in an especially cheesy and sentimental mode, so I created an Instagram post just for all of them.

#1 Jaylen "JaySam" Samuels TE/Hybrid
#48 Cole Cook (C) TE
#50 Tony Adams (C) OG
#27 Dakwa Nichols RB

#9 Bradley Chubb (C) DE
#27 Justin Jones DT
#98 BJ Hill DT
#35 Kentavius Street DE

#85 JuMichael Ramos WR
#6 Gavin Locklear WR
#4 Jerod Fernandez LB
#58 Airius Moore (C) LB

#2 Mike Stevens CB
#5 Johnathan Alston CB
#26 Nicholas Lacy CB
#24 Shawn Boone S

#64 Peter Daniel OT
#79 Ben Kaiser OL
#44 Bryan Smith DE
#54 Davion Allred DE

A D-Line who garnered national attention (rightfully so). LBs who made so many important plays, you usually couldn't count them all. A secondary that never stopped fighting to get better, even when the crowd was against them. WRs and a RB who fought through life-changing injuries to come back even stronger. A TE and OG who were the unsung heroes and leaders of the team. Walk-ons who earned scholarships. Scout team members who worked hard and selflessly every day to make sure the starters were ready for battle. And a hybrid, jack of all trades, all-purpose king of the field who defied all explanation. That's a lot of really special guys to lose all at once. Ask anyone; this class changed the culture of the program. The good news is that once you're part of the Wolfpack, you're always part of the Wolfpack, so Wolfpack Nation can cheer a lot of these guys on on Sundays.

I also added a picture for my favorite player, junior Nyheim Hines, who had two major touchdowns, 48 and 54 yards, had his personal record (by a LOT), and crossed the 1,000 rushing yards threshold for the season. And he did all of this after getting back on the field just one day after being cleared from concussion protocol. He's a BEAST.

These 20 guys are one of the most impact classes our program has ever seen. Wolfpack Football will never be the same. It was so important to everyone, team and fans alike, that they be sent out on a high note. They deserve every ounce of love, adoration, and respect they're getting.

Thanks for the memories, boys.

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