GC football officially enters Wilson era

GC football officially enters Wilson era

Greene Central finished 6-6 last season and reached the playoffs for a sixth consecutive year. Photo by Laieke Abebe / Neuse News

SNOW HILL — The Jay Wilson era has officially started at Greene Central.

The Rams held their first practice under the new coach with hopes to emulate, if not surpass, recent success. Greene Central has reached the playoffs each of the last six years — all under Allen Wooten—and compiled a 39-34 record in the process. Wooten took the head coaching position at perennial powerhouse Havelock this season and Wilson — who was the defensive backs coach the previous two seasons with Greene Central — took over.   

Wilson said the team has responded well and the plans of extending the postseason streak to seven are in motion.

“We had great participation all summer long, so going into today is just a continuation of what we’ve been doing,” Wilson said. “We want to continue to make the playoffs, build upon what Coach Wooten has done over the past six years and keep that ship moving forward.

“My expectations are going to always be the same: to be successful, be physical, run downhill, tackle hard, (and) to make sure we leave it all on the field Friday night.”

Knowledge Branch had a reserve role last season, but still rushed for 824 yards and 10 touchdowns. Besides his role as the featured running back, Branch will also play linebacker and said Wilson has definitely helped motivate the players during the summer.

“He’s been a great coach and has definitely stepped up since becoming the head coach,” Branch said. “We’re just trying to get faster and stronger for this season.”

Debo Pigford, who’s set to play wide receiver and defensive end, said the team’s put a lot of time in to improve over the summer, especially on the defensive end.

“We’re going to have to work hard and stay focused,” Pigford said. “We’re doing our best to stay even with the offense so we don’t get overpowered.”

Left tackle and middle linebacker Luke Hoskins said the change is apparent in the team’s mindset and it should translate on the field.

“Everyone is coming together with the mentality to work,” Hoskins said. “We’ve seen some good changes with Coach Wilson and it’ll show on offense and defense.”

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Kinston's Midnight Madness kicks off area public school football practices

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