Andy Heidelberg says he's still a little leary of the changes he's seen in Hampton Roads.&nbsp;
You would too if 50 years ago you were among the first blacks to intergrate previously all-white schools.&nbsp; Heidelberg was one of the original "Norfolk 17" who helped desegregate the city's schools back in 1959.&nbsp;
He went a step further.&nbsp; Heidelberg, a tailback, was cut his junior year after trying out for the football team.&nbsp; He made the team his senior year and became the first black in the south to break the color line.&nbsp;
"I saw Ken Whitley", he says.&nbsp; "He shook my hand and told me welcome to the Norview Pilots football team.&nbsp; It was the greatest feeling of my life."
It helped the now 64 year old get through the first 2 1/2 years at Norview in which he described the experience as "The worst years of my life."&nbsp; Racial taunts and isolation took its toll, but putting on that Pilots jersey eased the pain.&nbsp;
"I just wanted to put on those beautiful blue and white uniforms and imagine how that black skin would look", he says.&nbsp; Once he made the team in 1961, he was apart of a school that was among the best on the east coast.&nbsp;
Whitley, who's currently the Pilots head wrestling coach, was a fellow teammate and captain of the team in 1961.&nbsp; "He was a player.&nbsp; An active ingredient on our football team."&nbsp;
They went 9-1 that season and Heidelberg made an immediate impact.&nbsp; He also had an affect on his teammates that included Whitley.&nbsp;
"Being with him that one year probably changed my life.&nbsp; I've dedicated my life to making sure kids that I coached had a fair and square opportunity to win and lose in athletics."&nbsp;
Heidelberg agrees.&nbsp; "You have to be careful how you treat children and what you say to them.&nbsp; For all of the 17 of us, it was traumatic.&nbsp; It caused something in you to change."&nbsp;
In the end the ultimate change was a positive one on all of us today.