NORFOLK, Va. - Former NFL safety Don Carey returns to the sideline of Booker T. Washington High School, his alma mater, on Thursday afternoon.
"Walking from the parking lot was a lot of nostalgia.," Carey said. "A lot of blood sweat and tears went into this field. A lot of great games great memories."
While reflecting on the great moments he had as a Booker T. football player, he looks to inspire this year's squad, which has a trip to the region final on the line Friday night. He believes this group is capable of becoming one of the best teams in Bookers history.
"I’m excited to see how far they go," Carey, a former Norfolk State football standout said. "I know they’re gonna do great things. I mentioned to the young men, I feel like I’m looking at one of the greatest Booker T teams that we’ve had.
"We can say whatever we want to say about the teams we played on but we never made it to the second round, and they’re trailblazing ways for the future and I’m excited for them."
While a state title ring is the end goal, the Bookers have already accomplished what hasn't been done since 2014: winning a playoff game.
"I don’t think it has gelled in their mind that, 'Wow, we’ve done something that hasn’t been done in a long time,'" Bookers head coach William “Coach Stone” Robertson said. "[If] we beat York, I believe it will sink in. 'Wow, we have a chance for a regional championship, this is real history.' This is what we’re pushing for."
When the Bookers face York Friday night, they return to the site of last week's 24-22 win over the defending state champion Lafayette Rams. At that same site, they'll take the same approach they have all season long.
"We're not trying to be anything but Booker T.." Robertson said. "We're not trying to be the greatest thing on earth, we're just trying to win football games and be the best that we can be. Champions."
Friday night's game at Bailey Field gets underway at 7 p.m.