WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- After 71 years, Barton football is back on the field.
Coach Chip Hester has been here for two and a half years getting this program ready for this moment
"It's challenging and it's all those things but it's been very rewarding," said head coach Chip Hester. "The thing that I'm most pleased with is the group of guys that we've got and because of the unique situation I think it's bonded these guys really tightly."
"It's very rare where you can be in a situation where you really can set the tone for decades and decades of not only a football program but for the school to be able to bring excitement to the school," said senior offensive lineman, Ray Miller.
When the Bulldogs took the field for the first time on Saturday hosting Erskine, Miller was one of just a handful of guys who had played in a college football game and sees this as an opportunity to be a leader.
"I love getting to be there for them," Miller said. "Being around them and getting to push them to be better. Make them way better than I ever was and I think that's the goal. I feel like if you're a leader and you don't want the people under you to be better than you than you're not a good leader."
"They love each other and it's fun to see a group of people get that tight and they're pulling for each other," said Hester. "I think what that will lead to is down the line they play for each other. I think the best teams I've been a part of are those guys who play for each other."
The team's theme for the season is to be uncommon. Coach Hester told them what they're going to do is going to be uncommon and unlike any other college football program across the country.
"It put our whole program in one word," said Miller. "New program when we first got here we had a field no bleachers. We used to have to imagine everything, we used to have to carry our pads to practice and it let us know everything that we're going to do is going to be uncommon but we have a common goal and that is to be the best on and off the field."
"We don't want to do what everybody else is doing," Hester said. "We don't want to do it how everybody else is doing it and we want to face the challenge and try to be the best version of ourselves."
Barton fell 30-28 in its opening game against Erskine on Saturday. They'll look for their first win March 13 when they host Wingate.
'Be uncommon': Barton football makes history this season, plays for first time in 71 years
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