By John Stepp For The Times-Tribune
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets will be playing for their 400th win in the program’s history this Friday night when they take on the Campbellsville Eagles. The win would be a major milestone for the Williamsburg football program, which has established itself as one of the top Class A football programs in the state of Kentucky.
Sitting at win 399, this current Yellow Jackets team, which is currently ranked fourth in the state in Class A, is taking pride in being the team to get the program to win 400 — hoping the win comes today.
“One thing that we have really done here is try to embrace the past. We have pictures of past teams hanging on the walls, jerseys hanging up, and our kids see that and see the history and tradition of our program,” said Williamsburg Coach Jerry Herron. “These kids are excited. They may not completely understand it right now, but they know how big a deal it is for some of the older players and our alumni.”
With the 400th win looming, Herron and the Williamsburg program’s biggest hope is that all of the former alumni who are able, can make it to the game. If the Yellow Jackets pull off the win today, Herron hopes to see the alumni gathered on the field afterward.
“This is for our alumni and all those who have been a part of this program in the past. We’ve heard from quite a few of the alumni wanting to come back, and we hope to see all of them at the game on Friday,” said Herron. “If we are lucky enough to win this Friday, we want them to come down on the field with us to celebrate the win, and take a picture of everyone who shows up, so we can find a nice place to hang it up.”
They won’t have to go far to find several of the Williamsburg alumni, as Herron, and most of his coaching staff, actually played football for the school. Herron, who played for the Yellow Jackets in the 80s, is in his seventh season as coach, totaling 50 wins, to this point. For him, and his staff, this win is important.
“When you’re young, you think you should win every game you play. When you get older, you realize how difficult that is, and you appreciate those wins a little more,” said Herron. “It means a lot to me to be involved in a lot of these wins at Williamsburg. I played here, was an assistant coach here, and now am the head coach. Personally, it means a lot, and I know what it means to a lot of other people who’ve been involved in this program.”
To Herron, the 400th win won’t just be a milestone, but a symbol of what it means to be a Yellow Jacket – something that is conveyed throughout the entire Williamsburg football program, from flag football through high school.
“To be a Yellow Jacket means you have a sense of pride. We tell our boys that they go to a small school, but that doesn’t mean anything. They still have to show up, work hard, do well in the classroom and off the field,” said Herron. “They know they’re going to play iron man football, play both ways, and train year round. We hold them accountable. It’s special for them to be involved in a program with good history and that is blessed with great alumni, that still comes around, and that have made it a successful program.”
That Yellow Jacket pride has been good for 399 wins, and I’m sure one more won’t be too hard.