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FWIW, I Can Relate to the HBC

November 2, 2014
Terry Vaughan

The visor had already been discarded. As The HBC (Head Ball Coach) approached the podium for his post-game presser Saturday night, it was obvious that he was not in a chipper mood. Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks had just blown a 14-point lead at home with 2 minutes remaining to the Rocky Toppers, experiencing yet another crushing loss. The Head Ball Coach morphed into the Head Bawl Coach.

Spurrier muttered a few words before looking up at the reporters. "I don't need to take any questions. You guys watched it...and I just need to get out of here."

Steve simply strolled out of the room and the 54 second Press Conference was over.

It has been difficult to write a weekly Tornado Football Blog in the midst of a one win season. However, I have been accused of putting such a positive spin on things that I could make a script writer for Hallmark Cards blush. An optimist by nature, I  am cognizant that high school football players are  15, 16, and 17 year old kids. These kids make a great sacrifice to represent their school and community and I see no need to pile on just because sunshine and rainbows are not always evident.

But in the waning moments of my broadcast Halloween night, I must admit that I felt like I ended up with a Trick-or Treat bag full of circus peanuts and licorice. Even an upbeat guy like me had a hard time finding a Kit Kat or a Snickers Bar among the items deposited by the Tornado Football team.

Coming off a spunky performance at Umatilla and with backyard rival Keystone Heights coming to David Hurse Stadium, Tornado fans expected to see a team that was ready to avenge a one point loss to the Indians the previous year. Yes..that loss. The one that cost Bradford a District Championship at Keystone's expense in 2013.

Meanwhile,an 0-8 Keystone squad limped into town on the heels of a defeat to previously winless Interlachen.  All signs pointed to a Bradford reckoning. Hide the boys and ghouls: the Tornadoes were about to unleash their frustrations with a Halloween horror show that would leave Keystone shaking in their cleats.

If you were not there or didn't catch the broadcast, consider yourself lucky. Bradford was about as scary as a Casper the Ghost costume. Unfortunately, Keystone came dressed like Freddy Krueger. The Tornadoes never flashed any mojo offensively while the Indians performed as if their hair was on fire, just as they have for every one of these showdowns. Keystone 16- Bradford 0. 

It was a Nightmare on Adkins Street. Keystone again found a way to steal the Tornadoes' candy and leave them holding the bag.

Make no mistake. I still think the future of Bradford Football is bright.

But for one Halloween Night I watched my team, described the action on the radio.. and felt like the HBC was my BFF. Just like Steve, all I could think was "I just need to get out of here."