I. Senior center Whit Barnes had successful outpatient surgery on his left shoulder last week and the damage wasn't as bad as originally thought. Barnes will have to endure wearing a sling for a few weeks and then in about a month, he will start rehab on it. It should be as good as new by graduation.
II. Former Rocky Mount pitcher Jeremy Ward and his wife are expecting their first child in April. Ward, of course, led the Gryphons to the 1996 NCHSAA 4-A east regional finals. He played his college ball at Wake Forest and Long Beach State before being drafted into the pros. The couple is now living in Texas.
More good news for Ward's parents Ted and Jackie. Son Travis, former Nash County Babe Ruth Baseball All-Star head coach and a Northern grad, ironically, and his new wife will be giving them a grandchild this spring as well.
III. Ex-Gryphon baseball player Will Pridgen recently got his Master's degree in Sports Management from N.C. State and has landed a position with the Campbell University sports department. The Fighting Camels are now blushing over their new football team and football stadium complex and their recently opened 3,100-seat Pope Convocation Center - replacing that rickety Carter Gym that sat a mere 900!
We were all saddened earlier in the month by the death of his grandfather Dudley Whitley, who was AD at RMHS when I was a student.
IV. Not long ago, we saw former Gryphon athlete Adam Weaver in the dugout as an assistant baseball coach at Wilson Hunt. Now the Elon alum has taken a position with the State Employees Credit Union here in Rocky Mount.
V. Former Gryphon All-Stater Danielle Powell has taken a teaching position at a community colllege outside Seattle, Wash. Powell, who lettered 12 times as a Gryphon (four years in volleyball, basketball and softball and a seven-time conference Player of the Year in those sports), got her Bachelor's and master's degrees in communications at James Madison and a master's degree in divinity from Wake Forest. She played basketball for three seasons at JMU before a knee injury ended her career. She is RMHS' second all-time leading girls basketball scorer at 1,472 points.