Friday, July 27, 2007

The Holt Connection

When you've been a head coach for 38 years, you're bound to have had a lot of influence on people.

Such is the case with Rocky Mount head football coach B.W. Holt. He has inspired several of his former players and former assistant coaches to go on to be head coaches themselves.

I decided to nail Holt down recently to give me a list of former players and former assistants who have gone on to become head coaches.

Here is the list he came up with:

  • Scott Cummings - head coach, Knoxville-West (Tn.) ..... asst. to Holt at Tennessee High (Tn.)

  • Greg Stubbs - head coach, Tennessee High (Tn.) ..... asst. to Holt at Tennessee High (Tn.)

  • Scott Johnson, head coach, Starmount ..... asst. to Holt at Starmount

  • Joe Hutchens, head coach, Starmount ..... asst. to Holt at Starmount

  • Joey Weatherman, head coach, Dixon .... played for Holt at Starmount

  • Monte Chipman, head coach, East Wilkes ..... played for Holt at Starmount

  • Elbert Thomas, head coach, West Montgomery ..... asst. to Holt at West Montgomery, played for Holt at Starmount

  • Steve Johnson, head coach, Cummings ...... played for Holt at Franklinton

  • Dickie Schock, head coach, Orange/Franklinton ..... played for Holt at Starmount, asst. at West Montgomery/Rocky Mount

  • Charlie Haire, head coach, Wilkes Central, West Montgomery ...... asst. to Holt at Starmount

  • Tim Pruitt, head coach , West Wilkes, Cherryville ...... asst. to Holt at Starmount

  • Tommy Piper, head coach, Franklinton ..... played for Holt at Franklinton, asst. to Holt at Franklinton

  • Stu Holt, head coach, New Smyrna Beach (Fl.) ...... played for Holt at Starmount

  • Chad Smith, head coach, Northern Nash ...... asst. to Holt at West Montgomery, Rocky Mount

Hudgins a preseason All-SoCon football pick

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Former Gryphon Terrell Hudgins is one of four Elon football players who were chosen to the Preseason All-Southern Conference teams by the league’s coaches as announced at the 2007 SoCon Football Rouser.

Claiming First Team All-SoCon honors were sophomore wide receiver Hudgins (Rocky Mount, N.C.), junior linebacker Corey Weaver (New Bern, N.C.) and junior punter Brandon Lane (Greensboro, N.C.). Junior kicker Andrew Wilcox (Richmond, Va.) earned Second Team All-SoCon accolades.

Hudgins was a Second Team All-America pick by The Associated Press, a First Team All-South selection by Football Gazette and an all-SoCon pick by both the league’s coaches and media as a red-shirt freshman in 2006.

Last year, Hudgins became just the second Elon receiver to eclipse the 1,000-receiving yard mark by hauling in 62 balls for 1,027 yards. He led the league and ranked second in the nation by averaging 102.7 receiving yards per game. Hudgins led the squad with eight touchdown catches and had at least 100 yards receiving in six of the 10 games in which he appeared. He set a career-high with 186 receiving yards against Wofford and grabbed a career-high 14 passes versus The Citadel.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nash Co. 14U wins Eastern NC Babe Ruth state title ... again!

(Click on picture for a bigger view)

LAURINBURG - Nash County's 14U Babe Ruth All-Stars won the Eastern North Carolina state championship Monday evening with a 10-3 victory over host Laurinburg. Nash County will be making a trip to the Southeast Regionals - this year in Lumberton at Lumberton High School starting Aug. 3.

If the team reaches the Babe Ruth World Series, it won't have far to go either. After playing in Wilson last summer, it's being held a little over two hours up I-95 in Glen Allen, Va., just north of Richmond.

Nash County's pool play schedule in Lumberton is as follows: Aug. 3 vs. Alabama, 10 a.m.; Aug. 5 vs. South Carolina, 7 p.m.; Aug. 6 vs. South Florida, 10 a.m., Aug. 7 vs. Virginia, 10 a.m.

It's a family affair when it comes to Nash County's coaching staff. The manager is former Gryphon football and baseball player Britt Johnson and he is being assisted by Will Johnson, his brother and another ex-Gryphon (football and baseball at RMHS and current Barton baseball player). Also assiting him is their dad Don Johnson, a fixture in Gryphon athletics since 1972. Don, a 1975 RMSH grad, was a manager with the football and baseball team and played on the basketball team. Since the late 90s, Don, who is also a high school and college basketball official as well as a baseball umpire, can be seen at RMHS football games helping out with players' equipment.

"Coming into this All-Star season, we told our guys that the 14-year-olds of Nash County had won the last three state championships," manager Britt Johnson said Tuesday afternoon. "This team decided very quickly that it did not want to be the one to break that streak.

"After we won the districts, we knew that to win the state's we were going to have to play much better than we had been and we needed to start swinging the bats," Johnson added. "Our pitching has been the strong point of this team from the beginning and we knew we had the arms, but we needed more offensive production."

After an opening loss in Laurinburg, Nash County had to climb its way back through the loser's bracket to win six straight games for the title.

Here is a list of Nash County's players and the high schools they will attend this fall, which includes five future Gryphons and one who at RMHS last year:

Luke Mercer (Southern Nash), Jon Naylor (Faith Christian), Benton Moss (Rocky Mount), Jake Stanovich (Rocky Mount), Matthew Berry (Rocky Mount), Jeremy Sloop (Nash Central), Thomas Berry (Rocky Mount), Parker Helms (Rocky Mount), Taylor Clontz (Rocky Mount), Andrew Morales (Nash Central), Chris Ellerbe (SW Edgecombe), Chris Nelson (SW Edgecombe), Trellis Ashley (Nash Central), Jeremy Lucas (Northern Nash), Madison Mayo (Northern Nash).

Saturday, July 21, 2007

2007 NEW 6 3-A Conference Football Team Schedules

Here are the 2007 football schedules for all six NEW 6 Conference schools.


Aug. 24th - HUNT
Sep. 7th -- J.H. ROSE
Sep. 14th - @ Hertford County
Sep. 21st - @ Southern Wayne
Sep. 28th - open
Oct. 5th -- SW EDGECOMBE*
Oct. 12th - SOUTHERN NASH*
Oct. 19th - NASH CENTRAL*
Oct. 26th - @ Fike*
Nov. 2nd -- @ Northern Nash*


Aug. 24th - D.H. CONLEY
Aug. 31st - @ Tarboro
Sep. 14th - BERTIE
Sep. 21st - @ Southern Vance
Sep. 28th - @ Southern Nash*
Oct. 5th -- open
Oct. 12th - FIKE*
Oct. 19th - @ SW Edgecombe*
Oct. 26th - @ Nash Central*
Nov. 2nd -- ROCKY MOUNT*


Aug. 17th - TARBORO (E)
Aug. 30th - @ Beddingfield
Sep. 7th -- @ Hunt
Sep. 14th - @ Washington
Sep. 21st - @ Bunn
Sep. 28th - open
Oct. 5th -- FIKE*
Oct. 12th - SW EDGECOMBE*
Oct. 19th - @ Rocky Mount*
Oct. 26th - NORTHERN NASH*
Nov. 2nd -- @ Southern Nash*


Aug. 17th - open
Aug. 24th - BUNN
Aug. 31st - @ Warren County
Sep. 14th - @ Hunt
Sep. 21st - @ North Johnston
Sep. 28th – NORTHERN NASH*
Oct. 5th -- open
Oct. 12th - @ Rocky Mount*
Oct. 19th - @ Fike*
Oct. 26th - @ SW Edgecombe*
Nov. 2nd -- NASH CENTRAL*


Aug. 17th - open
Aug. 24th - WEST CRAVEN
Sep. 7th -- @ Farmville Central
Sep. 21st - @ Tarboro
Sep. 28th - open
Oct. 5th -- @ Rocky Mount*
Oct. 12th - @ Nash Central*
Oct. 19th - NORTHERN NASH*
Oct. 26th - SOUTHERN NASH*
Nov. 2nd -- @ Fike*


Aug. 17th - @ D.H. Conley
Aug. 24th - open
Aug. 31st - @ Hunt
Sep. 14th - @ C.B. Aycock
Sep. 21st - HUNT
Oct. 5th -- @ Nash Central*
Oct. 12th - @ Northern Nash*
Oct. 19th - SOUTHERN NASH*
Oct. 26th - ROCKY MOUNT*
Nov. 2nd -- SW EDGECOMBE*

Friday, July 20, 2007

Look who's on the cover!

Former Gryphon quarterback Terrell Hudgins is featured on the cover of the 2007 Elon Football Media Guide.

As a redshirt freshman, the QB-turned wide receiver was an AP Div. I-A second-team All-America last season (69 catches for 1,027 yds., eight TDs) and the Phoenix is expecting even bigger things from him this season.

Elon will get its biggest test of the season on Sept. 29 when it hosts defending national champion Appalachian State.

To get a gander at Hudgins, who is looking very Terrell Owens-like at 6-3, 226 pounds, on the cover, click here!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

RMHS duo goes out a winner

Needless to say, Rocky Mount's Kendall Noble and Nazir Levine were already winners.

But the two got to end their high school career with a victory Wednesday. They started on the offensive line for the East in the 59th NCCA East-West All-Star Football Game at Grimsley High School's Jamieson Stadium. Before 7,077 fans, the East broke a five-year losing streak in winning 22-14.

Both Noble and Levine played the entire game on offense and on special teams. The highlight of the night for the duo was a running play midway through the second quarter. The twosome helped open a gaping hole on the right side of the line that allowed East Carteret's Andrew Courman to score on a 50-yard run.

The two are shown here with their head coach B.W. Holt, who joined them on the field after the game to celebrate their win.

(Photo/David Hahula)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

American Legion Playoff Updates

Area 1 East Division Pairings
(Best-of-three series)

Game 1 - Monday

Edenton Post 40 11, Pitt County Post 39 3 (Edenton leads series 1-0)
Wayne County Post 11 5, Nash County Post 58 1 (Wayne Co. leads series 1-0)
Wilson Post 13 9, Pitt County Post 160 2 (Wilson Co. leads series 1-0)
New Bern Post 24 6, Beaufort County Post 15 4 (New Bern leads series 1-0)

Game 2 - Tuesday

Edenton @ Pitt Co. 39 (tied 0-0 in the third when rain suspended play)
Wayne Co. @ Nash Co., ppd. to Wednesday (rain)
Wilson Co. @ Pitt Co. 160 (Pitt Co. led 4-0 when rain suspended play)
New Bern 6, Beaufort Co. 4 (rain-shortened) - NB wins series 2-0

Game 2 (resumed) - Wednesday

Pitt Co. 39 8, Edenton 1 (series tied at 1-1)
Wayne Co. 13, Nash Co. 1 (8 inn.) - Wayne Co, win series 2-0
Pitt Co. 160 6, Wilson Co. 5 (series tied at 1-1)

Game 3 - Thursday

Edenton 11, Pitt Co. 39 2 - Edenton wins series 2-1
Pitt Co. 160 6, Wilson Co. 2 - Pitt Co. 160 wins series 2-1

Sunday, July 15, 2007

American Legion playoffs start Monday

The American Legion baseball playoffs in Area 1 East kick off Monday evening with four sets of best-of-three series games. The higher seeds have the home-field advantage in each matchup.

Below are the first-round pairings. Nash County Post 58, due to its 3-2 loss to Wilson Post 13 Thursday in its season finale, lost its chance to have home-field in the first round.

Post 58 will start play Monday at Wayne County Post 11 - being played at Mount Olive College's Scarborough Field. Game time is 7 p.m. The two teams will play at RMA's Alexander Field the next night.

Area 1 East Division Pairings

(Best of three series)

#4 Pitt Co. Post 39 (9-9) @ #1 Edenton Post 40 (11-3)
#3 Nash County Post 58 (16-7) @ #2 Wayne County Post 11 (13-4)
#4 Beaufort Co. Post 15 (6-10) @ #1 New Bern Post 24 (11-6)
#3 Pitt Co. Post 160 (7-9) @ #2 Wilson Post 13 (14-6)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Levine, Noble bios for NCCA East-West Football Game program

For those who will not make the 58th Annual North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football Game next Wednesday in Greensboro, you won't get to see the bios of Rocky Mount High game representatives Nazir Levine and Kendall Noble in the game programs.

The twosome left Thursday to start practicing for the game, being held at Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High School.

Below are the bios that will appear for both in the game program:

Nazir Levine

Nazir…Rocky Mount High…6-2, 280…offensive lineman / defensive lineman…coached by B.W. Holt…as senior, named All-Conference, All-State, team Offensive Lineman of the Year…Shrine Bowl selection…20 tackles, 6 sacks…as junior, named All-Conference…member of National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society…signed an athletic grant-in-aid with Winston-Salem State University where he plans to major in business administration…wants to own his own business…his mother is his role model…favorite college athlete is Joe Thomas…favorite pro athlete is Ray Lewis…says “I expect to have a good time and make new friends, and meet some good football players while I’m at it.”

Kendall Noble

Kendall…Rocky Mount High…6-4, 275…offensive lineman / defensive lineman…coached by B.W. Holt…as senior, named All-Area, All-Conference, Co-Lineman of the Year…as junior, named All-Area, All-Conference…also competed in indoor and outdoor track and field…signed an athletic grant-in-aid with Norfolk State University where he plans to major in physical therapy…wants to pursue a career as a physical therapist…favorite pro athlete is Vince Young…says “I am very excited to have the honor to play in this all-star game. I expect to gain a lot of valuable information about everything dealing with football.”

No ESPY for Barton!

Here is a reprint from the Wilson Daily Times

No ESPY for Atkinson, Bulldogs

LOS ANGELES — This time, David didn't have enough rocks in his slingshot.

Barton College, which won the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship in March, couldn't match the voting power of the Los Angeles Dodgers in ESPN's ESPY Awards balloting.

The Bulldogs were beaten by the Dodgers in the category of Best Finish in the awards presentation in the Kodak Theatre on Wednesday evening, Barton sports information director John Hackney said.

Barton head coach Ron Lievense and point guard Anthony Atkinson attended the event, which will air on ESPN on Sunday night at 9. It was Atkinson who scored 10 points in the final 45 seconds to help the Bulldogs overcome a seven-point deficit and upset defending champion Winona (Minn.) State University in the Div. II championship in Springfield, Mass.

Atkinson made the game-winning layup with fractions of a second remaining following a steal by teammate Bobby Buffaloe.

But the four consecutive home runs hit by the Dodgers in the ninth inning to tie their game with the San Diego Padres last Sept. 19 resonated more with the public, which was able to cast votes on the ESPN Web site.

The Dodgers ultimately won the game, 11-10, on Nomar Garciaparra's two-run homer in the 10th inning.

The other two nominees in Best Finish, a new category this year, were Curlin's victory by a nose against Street Sense in the Preakness horse race and Kevin Harvick's Daytona 500 triumph against Mark Martin by .02 seconds, the same amount of time remaining on the clock when Atkinson's game-winning layup swished through the net.

Lievense and Atkinson were the guests of ESPN and attended pre- and post-ESPY parties.

- Paul Durham

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gryphons will be in Wake Forest on Aug. 10

- Gryphon junior offensive lineman Whit Barnes

Rocky Mount's football team will have just one chance for an official scrimmage this coming season.

The Gryphons will attend the second Friday Night Pigskin Preview on Friday, Aug. 10 at Wake Forest-Rolesville High's Trentini Stadium. Rocky Mount played in the event last season as well.

RMHS will play in the 6 p.m. rotation against Durham Jordan, Broughton and East Wake. The other rotations are: 4 p.m.: Bunn, Green Hope, Louisburg and Millbrook; and at 8 p.m.: Clayton, Wake Forest-Rolesville, Garner and Northern Durham.

With the help of a solid offensive line, led by junior Whit Barnes, RMHS hopes to top the record 5,509 total yards it set in 2006.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Gryphon coaching numbers

I was just digging through some files and saw some Gryphon coaching stats that I needed to update.

Below are the up-to-date coaching stats for B.W. Holt (football), Pam Gainey (girls basketball) and Mike Gainey (boys basketball).

Hopefully, sometime in late September, we all will be celebrating Holt's 300th career victory!


43-10 - @ Rocky Mount
@ West Montgomery
19-14 - @ Bristol (Tn.) Tennessee,
174-46-1 @ Starmount,
49-21-1 @ Franklinton,
@ SW Randolph

294-109-2 career record, .730 winning percentage (37 seasons)


2006-07 - 16-11, playoffs
2005-06 - 8-18, playoffs

2004-05 - 17-8, Big East champs, playoffs
2003-04 - 23-5, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2002-03 - 22-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2001-02 - 20-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 24-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
1999-00 - 20-5, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
1998-99 - 20-6, playoffs
1997-98 - 12-12, playoffs
1996-97 - 12-13, playoffs
1995-96 - 14-10, playoffs
1994-95 - 15-10, playoffs
1993-94 - 10-14

Career - 233-121, .658 winning percentage (14 seasons)


2006-07 - 14-14, playoffs
2005-06 - 16-12, NEW 6 champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2004-05 - 17-9, playoffs

2003-04 - 22-7, playoffs
2002-03 - 25-2, Big East champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2001-02 - 19-2, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 13-11, playoffs
1999-00 - 12-12, playoffs
1998-99 - 16-10, Big East tourney champs, playoffs
1997-98 - 17-6, playoffs

Career - 171-85, .668 winning percentage (10 seasons)

Going back to football, in case you are wondering, SouthWest Edgecombe's Raymond Cobb topped the 200-win mark last season - thanks to his Cougars' sparkling 12-1 record. Holt and Cobb are the only active members of the 200-win club in the Twin Counties area.

Here's the breakdown on Cobb's record:


174-48 @ North Edgecombe; 29-9 @ SW Edgecombe

Career - 203-57, .781 winning percentage (19 seasons)

Jim Brett, who retired from teaching this past spring at Northern Nash but stopped coaching in 2003, also has 200-plus wins.


172-67 @ Tarboro (both stints); 47-24 @ Northern Nash (both stints); 25-6 @ West Brunswick; 3-7 @ West Carteret

Career - 247-104, .704 winning percentage (28 seasons)

Former Gryphon calling games abroad

Kenny Dickerson (RMHS Class of '70), who area high school sports fans may know of as a fine volleyball, basketball and baseball official, is calling baseball this summer - but he's doing it far away from his native Nash County.

He's in Israel calling games in the Israel Baseball League, a professional league that has just been formed there. Dickerson is one of six American umpires working in the league.

The six-team league has some star names guiding some of its teams. Ken Holtzman, Ron Blomberg and Art Shamsky are among those managing teams Tel Aviv, Bet Shemish, Modi'in, Ra'anana, Netanya and Petach Tikva. Former Boston Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette is the director of baseball operations.

The IBL will have no official relationship with Major League Baseball, but it is getting a hand from MLB. will carry coverage of Israel’s games.

Dickerson will be umpiring for eight weeks this summer in the league.

Another note about Dickerson, FYI Gryphons fans. As a junior at was then-called Rocky Mount Senior High, Dickerson was on the student committee that came up with one of the state's most distinctive team nicknames - Gryphon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Former Gryphon head coach takes West Brunswick High principal job

George Kelley, who for the last eight years has served as principal at Bunn High School, has been selected to be the new principal at West Brunswick High in Shallotte.

Before going to Bunn, Kelley served as an assistant principal and athletic director at RMHS. And before that, Kelley was an English teacher and head football coach for the Gryphons.

Kelley's teams won two Big East 4-A Conference titles and went to the playoffs three times. Over 10 seasons, Kelley's squads posted 63 wins (63-41,.606) - the second highest total by any coach in RMHS' history. Kelley was head coach from 1983 to 1992.

He was also head baseball coach for the Gryphons when they won the NCHSAA 4-A state championship in 1980.

Kelley's children also played a part in Gryphon sports. Son Roman was the starting quarterback for the Gryphons for two seasons (2,110 yds., 27 TDs), while daughter Kristen played volleyball and basketball for RMHS.

Kelley and his wife will be leaving the Rocky Mount area for the first time since coming here in the summer of 1976.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hahula having a ball!

Rising Rocky Mount junior Nick Hahula takes a whack at a football during the Appalachian State Prep Kicking Camp last week in Boone. Hahula will continue to be a vital part of the Gryphons' offense this coming season as he adds to his career kicking records. Hahula has scored 108 points in just two seasons with 81 PATs and nine field goals.

Barrett Bodiford (1995-97) held the record of 104 points until Hahula topped him with seven points (four PATs, one FG) against Western Alamance in the Gryphons' 41-37 fourth-round NCHSAA 3-A playoff loss last November.

Hahula holds or shares eight different Rocky Mount kicking records.

(Photo/David Hahula)