Coach went 23-5 in two years at East Carteret before returning to Havelock

HAVELOCK -- All of Caleb King's favorite sayings as a football coach refer back to one simple mantra his teams go by - "Do Your Job."

That is often heard on Sundays by football fans as it is also a popular saying of New England coach Bill Belichick.

King is no Patriots fan, he's more of a college and obviously high school football guy. Still, he believes in that if all his players do their jobs and do them well, the team will be successful.

It's hard to argue against that as every one of the last five seasons that King has worn black and white on Friday nights, his teams' seasons have ended with playing for a state title.

This year is no different as the Rams play Charlotte Catholic on Saturday in the NCHSAA 3A final at Duke University.

King is in his first season as Havelock's head coach after he took over for Jim Bob Bryant, who left for Freedom High School.

After serving an the Rams' offensive coordinator under Bryant, King got his first head coaching job with East Carteret, where he went 23-5 in two seasons with the 1A Mariners of Beaufort.

He did a lot, just not it all.

"My time at East was successful and it was great. I had some great kids there, met some great people and we won a lot of football games," King said. "In coming back home to Havelock, a place I had coached before, I knew what the expectations were - to win it all and I wouldn't want to be somewhere where that isn't the expectation."

King will have his chance to summit the mountain in his first climb as leader of the program Saturday at 3 p.m. in the title game.

In all the time from when he left Havelock for East Carteret then went back to Havelock, not too much other than wardrobe and school size changed for King.

He didn't even have to relocate, just now drives to work in a different direction.

Sure, over the years, Havelock has had a talent pool deep enough to fit a killer whale, but King says nobody wins on talent alone.

"Everybody at this point, every team that is still playing is good and they have talent," King said. "What I think has always set us apart from many others is how hard our guys work. I told you after the win last week and I meant it completely - 'our guys work like state champions,' that's on the field and in the weight room and that's what it takes."

In football, if you have the bigger, stronger and faster athletes with good coaching, you'll likely win most of your games.

But to be a champion, King says the work is what puts you over the edge.

"There is no magic pill anybody takes," he said. "The kids see the results of working hard and then they want to be a part of it."

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