By Ashley Starnes – Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas North Carolina Student Correspondent
Cheering as loud as possible and gleaming with pride, students and faculty all over Lee County High School’s stadium congratulated North Carolina Head Coach Burton Cates as he was presented with his bright green Shrine Bowl blazer.
The presentation took place just before the Yellow Jackets’ last home conference game on Friday, November 8th. With Coach Cates guiding the team, the Jackets defeated their rivals, the Southern Lee Cavaliers, 23-9.
Before the game started, several members of the Shriners Temples joined Coach Cates in centerfield to bestow him the honor. An announcer proudly proclaimed some of Coach Cates’ greatest achievements, including how he once had a 48-game winning streak. Feats such as this one make him one of the best football coaches in North Carolina.
As Foster Cates, Coach Cates’s son, draped the blazer over his father’s shoulders, the crowd erupted with delight. Cates thanked his assistant coaches, players, and family for supporting him through his successes.
Janet Cates, Coach Cates’ wife, attests that her husband is not like other coaches. He really does care about each one of his players, and he wants to see them succeed. He does not constantly chastise his players; rather, he encourages them and pushes them to reach their full potential.
Mrs. Cates attended every game that her husband coached for 30 years. She and Foster are incredibly excited about Cates’ selection as NC Head Coach for the 77th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. “We know how great of an opportunity it is,” Mrs. Cates claims. “And he really is one of the best coaches in North Carolina. You can’t have his record and not be,” she continues, beaming.
Reggie Peace, the Athletic Director at Lee County High School, also agrees that Coach Cates is very deserving of his award. He claims that Cates is very detail-oriented; he pays attention to the strength and weaknesses of each of his players and keeps them in mind as he develops his team. “Coach Cates is a true coach,” Peace says. “To me, a true coach is one whose team is always well-prepared,” Peace continues.
Coach Burton Cates will certainly show his dedication to his team and his attention to detail during Game Week at this year’s Shrine Bowl Game. Come December 21, the North Carolina’s Tarheels will be strong, confident, and incredibly well-prepared.