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Comets close out season Friday

Halifax County High School will honor the senior members of the Comets varsity football team, varsity cheerleading squad and band tonight as the school closes out the 2013 football campaign with its annual Senior Night game.

The Comets (1-8 overall) will face Tunstall High School (4-5) in tonight’s game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Memorial Stadium.

Halifax County High School will have 12 seniors playing in their final high school game in front of parents, relatives and friends in tonight’s contest.

“We have 12 seniors walking, and eight of them have been playing for four years,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Mike Roark.

“They have stuck it out, which says a lot about their character and their upbringing We’ve got a couple of seniors that this was their first year, and a couple that have been here two years. We need to make sure we tell mom and dad thank you for everything they have done and for their support, and thank the kids for their support of our football program.

“Hopefully we can get them a “W” and they can go out with a smile on their faces,” added Roark.

“We want them to have some fun.”

Roark said the seniors will start in tonight’s game.

“All of the seniors who have been at practice all week will get in on the first series on offense and defense and we’ll go from there,” he explained.

Tonight’s game is a big one for both teams.

For the Comets, tonight’s game represents an opportunity to end the season on a positive note and generate some enthusiasm and momentum for next season. Tunstall High School has post-season playoff implications riding on the outcome of the game.

“They’re right on the cusp of making the playoffs,” Roark said of Tunstall High School.

“Some people say they’re in, and others say they need to win Friday night to get in. This is a big game for them.”

One of the things that makes tonight’s game interesting is that the Comets and Trojans closely mirror each other both offensively and defensively.

“You see them (Tunstall High School) running our plays,” Roark pointed out.

“You see them running some of our defense. They’re going to hit the perimeter, they’re going to run No. 44 (Bradford Hylton) up the middle with some traps and some darts.

“They are a big-play team,” Roark continued.

“They’ve got No. 2 (Peyton Farrior) who is quick, and they will run jet to No. 2 and we run jet to No. 2 (Roland Brandon). Both of them are good ballplayers. Their quarterback (Christopher Buckner) is a good kid and can throw the ball some.”

The fact that Tunstall High School closely mirrors what the Comets do both offensively and defensively has made it easier this week for the Comets to prepare for tonight’s game.

“We needed that because we have activity busses leaving at 5 p.m., so we’re only getting in about 50 minutes of practice a day right now,” Roark noted.

“Anywhere you can save a few minutes is huge. It definitely makes things a little quicker for you.”

The bottom line, Roark says, is that the Comets will have to play a solid game tonight if they hope to conclude the season on a good note.

“I think whoever doesn’t make the turnovers and gets a couple of (defensive) stops can end up having some fun at the end of the game,” Roark noted. 

“We can’t fumble the ball, we can’t throw interceptions and we’ve got to tackle people. If we do those three things we can be a pretty good football team. Hopefully this week, Week 10, we will realize that and come out and do it.”