Community meets the Knights

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Buckingham community was handed an opportunity August 26 to become better acquainted with the coaches and players that comprise the Buckingham County High School (BCHS) football program.

Russ Gowin

Russ Gowin, the school’s new athletic director, estimated that approximately 350 people came out to take part in A Night with the Knights, an outdoor event next to the BCHS football field that featured free games for all ages, a free bounce house, raffle prizes and the sale of food, snow cones and homemade Knights Spirit items.

The gathering was sponsored by the Buckingham County High School Football Booster Club and Black Swan Catering and Events, and Gowin was pleased with how it went.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s been a great event for the community today,” he said. “We’re excited. This is the first year we’ve done this and look forward to future years doing events like this, trying to get our community involved.”

Booster club members said it takes a lot to support a football team and a lot is asked of the community in order to provide that support, so last Saturday’s affair was a way to give something back as well as stoke further community buy-in.

It also was a beneficial experience for Buckingham’s players.

“Our players got a chance to meet some of the younger kids in the community,” Gowin said, giving them an opportunity to be positive examples. “We want them to be good role models.”

Players aided young people with playing putt-putt golf, cornhole, a dunking booth game and various football-related games.

Josh Wallace, Buckingham’s head varsity football coach, described the event as an “awesome opportunity to get the community involved,” noting that a lot of people do not really know him, his staff and the teams.

“They talk about us, but they don’t really know who we are,” he said, “and we want to give people an opportunity, a chance, to kind of see who we are and meet our guys and stuff like that and let them know that we put in a lot of work and effort, and this is a testament to that.”

He pointed out that there were a lot of people in the community and a lot of parents who came to the event and helped out.

“And they did it for free, and that’s what it’s about,” he said. “It’s about being a community, supporting each other. There’s a lot more of that in this community than people think.”

Wallace spoke about the importance of players being able to feel the community support behind them when they take the field.

“I think we’re building towards that as a community, and the transition was hard with losing (Coach Craig) Gill and everything, and he was here forever,” he said. “So, I think it means a lot to the players. To be able to have people that you know that you can rely on when times are tough means a lot.”

Sophomore defensive back/wide receiver Nathan Brickhill noted that a lot of people had been coming through on Saturday, “so I feel like it’s a lot of support.”

As a member of the football program, he said, “I guess it gives encouragement just that people do care and that they’re willing to show support for us.”