Historic Homecoming

The Goldsboro High School football team lost to conference rival Clinton, but there was plenty to celebrate tonight.

A king and queen were crowned.

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The GHS Marching Band officially made its comeback.

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And … we have a MASCOT.

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So try not to hang your heads about another football loss. The Cougar Family has plenty to be celebrating tonight.

Homecoming? Girl, please …

The Homecoming Pep Rally and field activities dominated the afternoon, but tonight is when the real fireworks take place, as the Goldsboro High School football team hosts conference rival Clinton.

The GHS Marching Band will make its official return. A homecoming queen and king will be crowned. And a MAJOR surprise will be lurking in the shadows. (For a hint, tune in to @GHS_Cougars on Twitter and Instagram before kick-off.)

The game starts at 7 p.m., but in the meantime, enjoy these photos taken by Pride photojournalists Tyler Kearney, Tiana Brewington, Coryana Smith, and Ze’Mirah Harris.

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Silver linings …

The Goldsboro High School football team might have lost to rival Eastern Wayne tonight on a late field goal, but there were plenty of things for the Cougar family to celebrate. The GHS marching band is back. Choral students, a flag team, and dance squad filled out the new student section. And dozens of Cougars performed a rendition of the National Anthem that sent goosebumps up and down the arms of those in the crowd.

Yeah, losing is hard. Especially to a rival. So this one hurts. But we at the Pride believe the many victories of the day will trump this one loss.

The following photographs were taken by Shayla Greene, Tyler Kearney, Ze’Mirah Harris, Coryana Smith, and Mr. Fine. 

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Cougars want it all

Story by CHRISTINA RICHARDSON and ASYAH THOMAS; Video by TAWANA RICHARDSON; Photo by TYLER KEARNEY

Long before the Goldsboro High School football team took the field for its season opener against Hobbton, new Head Coach Timothy Ray sent his team a message. Two years ago, the Cougars didn’t win a game. Last year, they gutted out a playoff berth and lost in the first round. This season, the process just might pay off.

So he showed the young men a “hype video” — a collection of words, photographs, and film clips that would inspire them to leave everything they had out on the field. 

“Coach James laid a foundation, a great foundation, and as a team, we had a great team last year, and we expect to build on what we already laid out from last season,” Ray told the Pride. “Our motto is, ‘If you win everyday, you will win the whole season.’ We don’t try to look too far. We just wanna take care of what we can control at this moment and win everything.”

His team responded.

The Cougars’ opening game was over midway through the first quarter — a result of explosive plays on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, like this rushing touchdown that gave GHS a three-score advantage.

But the rushing game, backed by All-American Xzavior Bowden, J.B. Rhodes, and newcomer Isaiah Gray, was stacked last year. So scouts know what to expect. Or so they thought. They probably weren’t thinking that quarterback Brody Morton was going to look like a college gunslinger this season. 

And then, the young man started throwing bombs down the field Friday night. Like this one to Jykeis Mclean:

And this one:

Oh … and THIS one:

But the Cougars’ weapons don’t exist simply on offense. The defense collected interceptions, forced fumbles, and executed some SportsCenter-worthy highlights, too. Did somebody say, “Pick Six”?

Morton believes this team has something special. 

“I know us as a team can win the championship,” he told the Pride. “We’ve got all that we need, even down to the support from the athletes and coaches and fans and that’s all we need.”

And Friday, when the Cougars take the field against rival Eastern Wayne, they’ll be sporting new Under Armour uniforms — courtesy of former GHS teacher and coach Brandon Davis.

“They say if you look good, you’ll feel good,” Morton told the Pride. “You feel good, you play good. And if you play good, you’ll win good.”

Dancing queen

Pride journalist Korrie McEachern turned in an emotional performance this morning during the Goldsboro Ballet’s Nutcracker School Synopsis program at the Paramount Theatre — a three-show event that saw hundreds of Wayne County schoolchildren take in the famous ballet.

The show will run at the Paramount all weekend, but members of Mr. Fine’s journalism class were treated by Goldsboro Ballet to today’s event to document our classmate’s final run in the Nutcracker. (This is Korrie’s senior year and she will, sadly, not grace the Paramount stage in the show again after this year.)

The following photographs were taken by Pride photojournalists Tyler Kearney and Christina Richardson and represent our preliminary look though the several hundred photos that were shot. More will be posted this weekend and a story about Korrie will appear exclusively on GHSPride.com next week.

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