People traveled from all over Surry County that second Sunday in September to pack the stands and honor one of their own. To anyone outside of the North Carolina community, it would have just been another day. But to Dave Diamont and the rest of East Surry High School, it was a very special day. On this day, the beloved Coach Diamont, who was at the helm of the football team for over 30 years, received the greatest of all honors: a stadium named for him.
When Diamont thinks back on the full life he has created for himself as a coach, he is almost surprised to see the course his life has taken. Though Diamont was surrounded by football his entire life because of his father, when he came to Wake Forest University, he was sure he would become a lawyer.
Following graduation from Wake Forest, Diamont attended Appalachian State University for grad school, where he soon found himself swept away by the political scene, volunteering for different campaigns. Diamont then served on the North Carolina House of Representatives and was also named chairman of the House of Appropriations Committee.
But, he still had an itch to teach in some capacity and coach. So, for years, Diamont juggled his duties in politics with making a difference in the lives of students.
Diamont soon found that he solely wanted to focus on his time coaching and teaching, and so he did. Now, with the highest honor of having the high school’s stadium named after him, Diamont can not think of a more fulfilling way to spend his time.
One of the best parts from this day, which will live in Diamont’s memories forever, was having not only his good friend, but chapter brother, the Reverend Mike Queen, give the invocation for the naming ceremony.
The friendship began over 50 years ago when both men were freshmen just stepping foot onto Wake Forest’s campus. Queen says that he and Diamont were a bit nervous going into college not knowing anyone, but found each other and the brotherhood of Lambda Chi Alpha.
To this day, both men will say that a large part of their personal growth came from their choice to join the brotherhood.
“I think Lambda Chi helped me grow up,” said Diamont. “There was a sense of maturity, responsibility, commitment, learning how to get along with people.
“When I went to school, most people looked like me and were like me, and then suddenly I’m at Wake Forest where I see people of different backgrounds and different philosophies. The fraternity allowed me to know that we may be different, but there are many more similarities in what we go through.”
Through the years, Queen and Diamont have remained fast friends. When Queen got the call to ask if he could perform the invocation at the ceremony, there was no hesitation.
“A community does not name buildings, or parks, or certain stadiums without a reason,” said Queen.
In addition to the invocation given by Queen, the governor of North Carolina was in attendance, and September 9, 2018 was declared David H. Diamont Day.
When talking with Diamont, though, you would never know just how much of an impact he has on his community. Not one to brag, he will just tell you it is how you are supposed to live your life, serving others.
Ask anyone else though, such as Queen, and they will tell you how well-deserved and necessary this ceremony was for the entire community.
“It’s about his [Diamont] investment in the young people of that community consistently for a long period of time…when I look at what he has done with his life, I think the naming of the stadium is a recognition of the whole scope of his life,” said Queen.
“It’s not about wins and losses, it’s not just about football, it’s about being an important voice in his community and putting himself in a position of service.”
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