Coach Sterling Sees Better Days Ahead for Bulldogs


Brandon Simmons, Staff Reporter

Coach SterlingIt has been more than two years since the Burke Bulldogs won a varsity football game. The Bulldogs last won a game in 2014, when they beat Baptist Hill 27-14.

This was once the team of the legendary Modie Risher, who coached the Bulldogs for more than three decades and won our only state football title in 1955. But Coach Sterling, who has been coaching football for 26 years, sees better times ahead. Here’s why he thinks next year will be different.

Q: How do you think the team has changed since you started coaching here at Burke?
A: When I first arrived at Burke, I saw there was a need to start over as far as teaching fundamentals so we did that for a whole year. And this year it’s changed tremendously because the fundamentals have been developed not to a higher standard where we want it to be but where we were able to put points on the board offensively and we stop some people on big plays. We have grown, I say, at least 65 percent this year compared to when I started out in the program.

Q: Do you think there will be a big change in the team next year?
A: There’s going to be a big change in the team next year because of the growth with students along with the off season we have a good weight program prepared to participate in to get our kids to the next level because by the time they become seniors some of them will be looking at scholarships to different colleges and universities so that’s what we strive for.

Q: What are some things you have planned to improve the team’s performance?
A: What we’re doing is putting together a lacrosse team to help our guys develop a little more agility and get them together as a team unit. Plus the off season weight program we have that’s going to challenge them along with the summer workouts, and we’re going to do a little bit of traveling this summer with 7 on 7’s (scrimmages). We’re going to go up to North Carolina to do some things you know with our guys to get them in a more competitive mode so we’re prepared for August.

Q: What do you think held the team back this season?
A: We were young — that’s one reason. We were young that’s the most important thing, and we still developed some fundamentals as far as the football game goes.

Q: What do you think are the strengths of the team?
A: The strengths as a team were that we were developing as of one unit. The guys are playing together, they’re starting to understand the concept of playing as a team and plus they’re going through the process.

Q: What is your previous background in coaching?
A: I’ve been coaching football for 26 years. I started out in Durham, N.C., at Durham High School.  From there I went down to Texas at Duncanville High School in the early ‘90s. I went from Texas to North Carolina at Olympic and West Charlotte high schools. From there I was in Chester S.C., and now I’m here at Burke. I’ve got four state championships under the belt. There are a couple of region and conference championships. Plus the big thing is getting our athletes into college and universities. I’ve been instrumental in helping over 120 athletes get into colleges and universities over the years.