After 665 days away, Fuquay-Varina High football excited to return home

Sports

FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) – Just three days before Fuquay-Varina is to play its home opener against rival Holly Springs, workers continue to try to get Bengals Stadium ready.

“The last two years have felt real weird,” said Fuquay-Varina head coach Jeb Hall.

A two-year renovation project of Fuquay-Varina High School sent students and staff to Willow Springs High School. Suddenly, one of the Triangle’s oldest, tradition-rich high schools sat silent.

“You know you’re living out of boxes and then you throw in COVID and being out of sorts for a whole year and a half,” Hall lamented. “You know we’re all just ready to get back and get going here at Bengal Stadium.”

The town of Fuquay has a proud history of supporting Bengals football. Young kids dream of one day wearing the Orange and Black.

“Going over to Willow Springs just didn’t feel like home,” said senior safety Jackson Barker. “I remember over there we used to play pickup football with all the boys and such and now we’re back here playing with everyone who used to play over there so it really feels like home.”

Home. It’s where most of us feel safe and secure.

And at Fuquay-Varina, it’s also a place where a rabid student section can cut loose.

“You can see right there behind me, they’re going to be loud and proud and I can’t wait to see them on Friday night,” said Bengals senior quarterback Caden Castle.

After 665 days away, Castle and his teammates will get that chance on Friday.

“A big part of the culture is back,” said Barker. “We’re back in the heart of Fuquay and the city is rallying behind us. It feels really good to be back.”

The Bengals host Holly Springs High School on Friday at 7 p.m.

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