HAVELOCK - With much of the pride and pomp of a Friday night of yore, nearly the only things missing Saturday night at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center were the pads, helmets and referees.

Havelock football players past, present and likely future were in attendance as the program's successful players of the past were honored as Havelock legends at the second Havelock Legends Dinner.

Kendal Vickers, Pharoh Cooper, Taylor Woods, Bruce Carter and Corey Robinson were the official legends honored.

Many other past footballers like Derrell Scott, Julian Cuthbertson, Jordan Cuthbertson, Derek Nelson and more were also in attendance.

Carter was unable to attend the event as his flight was delayed due to bad weather in New Jersey. He was represented by his family.

Cooper also could not be in attendance due to schedule conflictions and sent a video from Los Angeles to the crowd and was represented by his parents.

"The main reason I wanted us to do this was for the boys and for the community. It was like one big family reunion, that's the way these things should be," King said.

"The Touchdown Club did a tremendous job with it and we are incredibly blessed to have the kind of alumni here that we do."

King spoke of the tradition of the school and about how the town itself is a blue-collar, hard-working man's town.

Four new legends were also honored as past coaches Vaughn Sturm and Donnie Koontz along with former players Shane Knipple and Coyal George all got the legend treatment.

George and Knipple both now coach at separate high schools in Florida.

Robinson was in attendance but had a cast on his foot due to an injury suffered with the Detroit Lions and a knee scooter helping him get around.

Vickers is about to head into his senior season at the University of Tennessee and Woods is going into his final year with James Madison University.

"I thought it was awesome to see everyone back and all of the people that have supported us since we played in high school," Vickers said.

"It's kind of surreal because you never really think of yourself like that, as a legend, and it shows how time flies."

Woods added that it was all a big honor and kind of took him aback.

"Seeing all the little kids come up to us that looked up to us and being able to give back, I think it was a big event," Woods said.

"I don't think of myself as a legend but it's great to be honored as one at a place like Havelock."

Touchdown Club president Beckie Baldree talked about upcoming things the club is going to do to benefit the program.

The main thing she hit on was the opening of the club's store which will sell merchandise from Havelock High, Havelock Middle and Tucker Creek Middle but that's not all.

There will also be a place for athletes to receive tutoring assistance.

"We want to do all that we can to make sure that as many of our players as possible have the opportunity to continue bettering themselves on and off the field," Baldree said.

"We're all a family here in Havelock and we love football and we're so happy that Coach King is back and leading us."

A silent auction of past Rams' memorabilia and other valuable prizes were available to the highest bidder.

Cooper sent three pairs of signed cleats, a Rams jersey and several signed pairs of gloves for the auction. 

Baldree's Tire Pros had a new set of tires, there was a one-day pass to Disney World, a package trip to Washington D.C. including Nationals tickets and a pass to the Pentagon, a signed Havelock helmet by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, Tennessee coach Butch Jones and Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien and many more items to bid on.

King said he did wish that everyone could have been there but that the event was still a great success.

"We wish Pharoh and Bruce could have made it but things pop up and those guys have busy schedules. We know where their heart was at," he said.

Baldree was assisited putting the event together by Emily and Fredrick Paley, Bonnie Grainger, Amanda Morgan and Jodi O'Rourke among others.

Will Spottsville was the night's emcee.


Jordan Honeycutt can be reached at 252-635-5670 or at jordan.honeycutt@newbernsj.com