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Douglas Byrd Wins 1999 Fabulous 15 Award

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FAYETTEVILLE — For the first time in a long while,Douglas Byrd High Schooldid not win the tough Mid-South Conference, but they more than made up for that winning four straight road playoff games, including revenge wins over league rivals South View and Pine Forest to earn their way into their fourth state 4-A championship game in five years.

"At first when we didn't win the Mid-South, it really hurt us all. It hurt us bad. Because there's a long line of years on the weight room wall, and then it doesn't say '99. But it does have the Eastern Championship and that's what we're really proud of," says senior Jay Armstrong.

"At first, when we lost to Pine Forest, I didn't think we were going to make the playoffs," says senior Mike Cornegay. "When we made the playoffs, it was like a brand new season for us."

"You want to see your kids take it to another level when you get to the playoffs, and they did that," says coach Bob Paroli. "They're special because we're not surrounded by great athletes, we're just surrounded by the great attitude and a great commitment that they've made to the program into making themselves a better football team."

The Douglas Byrd dream ended, though, with a 7-0 loss to Asheville Reynolds in the championship game. It is a defeat that lingers.

"This pill Saturday night was the bitterest of pills and mainly because our kids did battle back so hard for five weeks to get us to where we were. I wanted it for them more than anything else," Paroli says.

Douglas Byrd High School, 13-3 for the season, is the 1999 champion of the Fabulous 15.


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