Pastor Chris Hairston, father of William Byrd High School quarterback Israel Hairston, whose
team just won the Region 3D Championship, took the opportunity to post this message on his
Facebook page (and graciously allowed us to publish it) about the team members and the community who rallied around them— not just this winning season, but throughout the years.
“I’m beyond proud of the guys and the journey that this core group took together. It was truly a
HOMEGROWN team that the community rallied around. These kids wore the Terrier name as
part of the Vinton Booster Club with winning seasons and losing seasons. They learned in those
years what it was to dominate (be exalted) and lose (be abased). They hung in there together and
made their mistakes, but they stuck the course and made a community proud.
“They were HOMEGROWN in that they were a part of the community and embedded in the
community in which they lived. They celebrated their seasons at Bratchers, NY Pizza, and Jump!
“They were sponsored by the Dogwood, Bojangles, Kroger, Woods Service Center, Virginia
811, and others so that they could add their family names to the back of their jersey, eat, and
party with each other at the end of the year.
“They practiced their craft on the rocky fields of RCCC and called Vinyard Park home. They are
“These guys believed in one another and joined with a William Byrd coaching staff that engaged
with them and celebrated community service by cleaning up the local trails and celebrating fallen
soldiers. They marched into games behind the local police and veterans associations.
“These guys were a part of something special and they are V(IN)ton’s team.
“We celebrated and complained. We coached from the stands and played GM to our shame, but
the team kept fighting and they deserve this championship.
“This championship is a HOMEGROWN championship. No recruiting, no NIL, no scholarships,
no promise of stardom. Just whatever walked the halls of Byrd was what they had. No one was in
the transfer portal to help; they just decided to stay and help themselves. No shortcuts, just
lessons in hard work, the fear of the Lord, and ‘holding the rope.’ Those were the lessons woven
through all the X’s and O’s, motions, formations, and victories.
“It was great to see a town pack out the hole in Ridgeway, and then turn around and overflow the
visitors’ area two or three people deep at the fence in Lynchburg.
“Sure, it was Goliath, but this was Vinton. Vinton has all it needs. I wasn't born here, but I'm
glad someone showed me where this place was. For this period of my life, these boys represented
a story that I hope many will hear about– a bunch of kids, dragging their fathers and families to
the field to play a game. The only thing their parents had in common was that they had kids the
same age; many had never met before.
“Now as we look around the stands 10 years later, a simple nod or smirk would say it all.
Whether Biddy, 8U, 10U, 12U, Terriers or Raiders was your team, you have a lot to be thankful
for. You did Terrier Town proud. Congrats to the Terriers– you won!”
by Pastor and parent Chris Hairston