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Wallace-Rose Hill football has faced down more adversity than most, it’s why the 10-seeded Bulldogs are heading to the state game

WRH vs Shelby Saturday 3 PM at NC State
Wallace-Rose Hill football has faced down more adversity than most, it’s why the 10-seeded Bulldogs are heading to the state game
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 3:16 PM EST
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TEACHEY, N.C. (WITN) - Wallace-Rose Hill had those positive tests this week. The rest of the program got tested this morning and the team is good to play in the state game Saturday. Just a little more adversity for a team that has weathered more than its share of storms.

“You get to see the good and the bad when you have something really bad happen,” Kevin Motsinger, Wallace-Rose Hill head coach says.

To understand this Wallace-Rose Hill football team, start with their seniors, who started their high school careers with Hurricane Florence flooding most of their area.

“I’d really have to sit and think about how many kids we had that lost, upper 20s close to 30 kids,” Motsinger says. “I was out of my house for the rest of that year.”

“People didn’t have homes and stuff like that,” says Bulldogs senior Oscar Iraheta, “Us as young kids, we had to deal with that, and still play. Football was an escape for us.”

“What kept me focused the whole time, what kept me through it was football,” says Bulldogs senior Kanye Roberts, “Being around my team. So being around them helping me, and me helping them, helped me get through everything.”

Florence might be an afterthought for many, but for Duplin County the memory is strong, and the damage looms.

“I’ll be honest with you, we’re still picking up the pieces,” says Motsinger.

Going through it all together. It changed this group of Bulldogs into brothers.

“I think it made us stronger physically, mentally and emotionally,” says Bulldogs senior Lon Teachey, “It’s why we are going to the state championship.”

They survived the hurricane, fought through the Pandmic, and got back to ball.

“The only normal thing that’s getting back the way life used to be is football,” says Motsinger.

10-seeded WRH grew even tighter through the playoffs. The last four rounds spent on the road.

“The bus trips were pretty silent. Everyone’s doing their own thing, trying to get their mind right,” says Teachey.

Over 670 miles on the bus over the last month.

“It’s memories, just having fun you know connecting with one another,” says Iraheta, “Just vibing after a win.”

Four years of adversity, even with a little more this week, this group of Bulldogs looks to bring the state title back to Duplin County for the first time since 2017.

“Even though we went through floods we were in a drought when it came to that,” says Motsinger, “When they were in middle school we won the state championship every year. So when they rolled in here that was the way it was supposed to be.”

2017, when the ‘Dogs before them won their 4th straight title.

“It would be real big man,” says Roberts, “I have been wanting a ring since my freshman year.”

“That has been our mindset,” says Iraheta, “To go to the state championship and win a ring.”

Wallace-Rose Hill faces Shelby at 3 PM Saturday at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. The boys all said they are really excited to get to play there.

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