Titan coach, former players remember, pass along lessons of respect to youth
By Aaron Moore
Published in News on June 19, 2011 1:50 AM
Darryl "Blue" Stanton, Julius "Big Jo" Campbell, Petey Jones and Coach Herman Boone pose for a picture Saturday night before urging Goldsboro youth to respect themselves, others.
Joined by three of his "Titans," Herman Boone, the former high school football coach who inspired the Walt Disney film "Remember the Titans," came to Goldsboro Saturday with a message for its youth: respect.
Sponsored by Dennis Peele, a local pastor and one of Boone's former students, Boone told his fans at the LBJ Community Center how respect helped his football team look past the color of each other's skin and win a state championship in Virginia in 1971.
Boone said it's that kind of respect young people need now more than ever.
"The movie 'Remember the Titans' is not about football," he said. "The movie 'Remember the Titans' is about these young men in Alexandria, Virginia, who learned to accept the soul of an individual and not reject each other based on the color of their skin."
Although the nation has come a long way since those segregated times, Boone said a lot of youth today need help finding respect for themselves and others.
"Those children are going to replace us on the earth," he said. "We need to show kids there are other role models than pimps and gangsters."
Former Titan Petey Jones said Boone's lessons on respect helped shape his entire life.
"We come from the projects, what we call public housing," he said. "Coach Boone taught us -- well, he almost beat it into us --how to give 100 percent."
Jones said that extra push helped him find the footing he needed to become a successful person.
"Respect yourself," he said. "Respect anybody you come into contact with."
Though the Titans came with a serious message, fans still had their fun.
"It was an overwhelming experience," said Bobby Williams after getting Boone's autograph. "We look forward to more people like him coaching."
Williams, who played football for Goldsboro High School in the 1990s, said his old football coach always reminded him of Boone.
"It was wonderful," said Williams' son, Montrail, who has watched the "Titans" film in classes at Eastern Wayne High School. "(Boone) was so successful in such a hard time."
Kay Getsinger, who traveled from Swansboro to see Boone, said she often shows "Remember the Titans" to her eighth-grade classes when she teaches them about civil rights.
"It's a good representation," she said, adding that she has always admired Boone.
"I am more excited than meeting Santa Claus," Ms. Getsinger said.