polo review Deacons soak in Belk Bowl experiences

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CHARLOTTE When Amari Henderson steps onto the field for Thursday night’s visit to Bank of America Stadium, it won’t be the first time he’s been to the home of the Carolina Panthers.

Friday’s Belk Bowl will be the first time Henderson plays on the field, though.

“I really wanted to come to the Belk Bowl, first and foremost it was in Charlotte, get a lot of family and friends who might be able to come to the game, they don’t really have to travel too far,” said Henderson, a redshirt sophomore cornerback who graduated from Charlotte Mallard Creek. “It was a blessing that we got in the Belk Bowl.”

Henderson has heard from all kinds of family and friends planning on attending Friday afternoon’s matchup against Texas A He’s especially thankful his grandmother will be in attendance, since she recently moved from Ohio to Charlotte. Henderson also said he had past coaches from every level of football from pee wee to high school have called to say they’ll be there.

For the past few days, Henderson has soaked in some of the extra experiences unique to the Belk Bowl a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday featured a ride in a stock car, while the Deacons have also visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

“That was my first time being on that track. And just having that whole experience man, it was fun. I’m thankful for it,” Henderson said.

There were some nervous moments, though.

“The speed, especially on the curves, man,” Henderson said. “You get so close to the wall, for a second you thought you might hit the wall. But those are very experienced drivers, so I’m good with them.”

Senior linebacker Jaboree Williams also appreciated his time at Charlotte Motor Speedway, calling it “probably one of the top three best experiences in my life.” He said other highlights included the trip to the food bank and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Wednesday night saw another highlight of the Belk Bowl. It was the players’ shopping spree at the South Park Mall’s Belk store, where each player had a $450 gift card and some items in the store were marked 20 percent off.

Henderson brought several of his teammates to the store earlier this week.

“I took them to South Park, just to get a little adventure. A lot of people put stuff on hold, so it’s going to be a fun night to go out there,” Henderson said. “But the real thing is make sure we’ve got our mind right for the game Friday. So a lot of guys after we get our shopping, we’re going straight to that film room and make sure we’re ready, lock and load for Friday.”

Henderson wasn’t sure what he was going to buy, but he knew that most, if not all, of what he bought would be for his parents and family.

Williams was going in with a different mindset.

“Well, I kind of want to get me a couple of suits, you know, because I didn’t have the money to get the $400 suits, the polo Ralph Lauren suits,” Williams said. “I would just kind of mix and match, put everything together. But now I can go in and walk confidently knowing that I have a $450 gift card that I can just go in there and get the fanciest suit.”
polo review Deacons soak in Belk Bowl experiences