Saturday’s final football game looked pretty familiar to Winston-Salem State fans and alumni.
The Rams lost to Fayetteville State 31-17 and, much like it was in other games, the Rams had their chances but couldn’t get it done. That sums up the season as they finished 4-6 under Robert Massey, the interim head coach.
In Saturday’s game, the Rams had leads of 14-10 and then 17-10 before the Broncos got their running game cranked up.
The biggest question after the game was the status of Massey, who would like to come back and coach. Massey, however, was realistic about his chances, especially since WSSU has hired its next athletics director.
Last week before the Rams played the Broncos, I asked Massey if he thought he might be back. Massey, a veteran coach who is very much in tune with the business aspect of coaching, wasn’t very optimistic. He pointed to the 21-0 loss to Shaw at homecoming that could have sealed his fate.
“I don’t know,” Massey said when asked if he did enough to keep the job. “I will tell you this, in college football you win homecoming. You have to win homecoming, and that’s everywhere and not just here. And that’s something I didn’t do and that would scare me as an alum and that would scare me as a hiring official.”
Still, others are convinced that Massey could put together a championship program with more time. I asked about 10 players if Massey should be back, and they all said yes.
Malik Moore, one of the 19 seniors playing his last game, loved playing for Massey.
“Overall, this is a family, and when a coach like Coach Massey welcomes you into the family that means a lot,” Moore said. “So he does foster that, and when you know you can go talk to the head coach about anything then that’s who you want as your coach in my opinion. Most coaches are all about winning no matter what, and Coach Massey is like that as well. But he also cares about your well-being and what you will be doing after football is over.”
George Knox, who is the interim athletics director until Jan. 1, said on Sunday that he doesn't know of any impending announcement about the football program.
"We will do what's best for the football program," Knox said about Massey's status. "Dr. (Elwood) Robinson (WSSU's chancellor) and I will obviously talk about some things as we evaluate, but like I said we will do what's best for the football program."
Etienne Thomas, the athletics director at Kentucky State, was hired at WSSU last week but her first official day isn't until Jan. 1, 2020. Until then, Knox will continue to oversee the entire athletics program.
Before Saturday's game with the Broncos, the scene was set with what was at stake, and it was obvious more was at stake for the Broncos.
WSSU doesn’t have a baseball program anymore, but two of the most recent stars, E.P. Reese and Randy Norris, gave back to the community of High Point over the weekend.
Norris said he’s also planning on giving youth baseball lessons this winter as he prepares for his third year of pro baseball. Both pro baseball players have something else in common — great families. They pointed out that, if not for their families, they probably wouldn’t have made it to pro baseball.
WSSU, which disbanded the baseball program this past spring, had two players drafted in back to back years. Now, they are both thriving as pro players and are giving back to the community.