Holly Springs trio to lay foundation for 1st Barton College football team in 70 years

The Blitz

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. (WNCN) – Barton College this fall will field a football team for the first time in 70 years.

Among the players on this team will be three Holly Springs High School products.

“It’s definitely cool it’s something that you can’s find anymore,” said former Holly Springs linebacker Shane Perry. “The opportunity to go in somewhere brand new and write your own story is going to be awesome.”

The Bulldogs/ first team in more than seven decades will be bolstered by three former Golden Hawks: Perry, Connor Sauls, and Hunter Sauls. The trio was a big part of Holly Springs stringing together its best two-year run in program history.

“To all three be able to go to the same place it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Hunter Sauls. “It will be comfortable because we’ll be around the same people that we’ve been around for four years now.”

The future Bulldogs lift weights in the Sauls brothers’ garage. Finding a place to run and work drills during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging.

“We try to go to the field as much as we can,” Connor Sauls said. “We’ve been run off Holly Springs by the police. They’ve told us we can’t be there. They told us school is closed for a reason, so the fields are closed.”

The fields may be closed, but the chance to write history is wide open. The former Golden Hawks know they’ll start at the bottom of the heap. That doesn’t faze them.

“If you look back on those time when you were at the bottom, who you looked up to and who they are now tells a big part of who you might be,” Perry said. “And I think it will be really cool to look up to people again.”

Maybe, in four years, a new group of young recruits will look up to these three. One thing for sure is that, years from now, this first Barton team in 70 years will be seen as the one that got the ball rolling again in Wilson.

“Even if the first few years are a struggle you know in 20, 30 years when we have a successful program we’ll be the ones in the picture of that first year,” said Hunter Sauls.

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