Friday, October 21, 2011

Top memories from the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex

The selections were wide and varied - from a concert with the Beach Boys to the flood waters of Hurricane Floyd.

To those of you who submitted to my Facebook page your top three memories from the last 24 years at the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex, I deeply thank you.

It was a tight race, but alas, a positive Gryphon memory ended up winning out.

The day was Monday, Oct. 8, 2007 and SouthWest Edgecombe's football team came calling. Both Rocky Mount and SWE were undefeated and the RMAC was packed.

That most unforgettable moment took place with about four minutes left in the game. With SWE trailing 15-12, its QB completed a pass around mid-field to Demetrius Randolph across the middle and he headed down the field past the RM bench toward the north end zone.

Out of nowhere came defensive back Brian Goodwin who got behind Randolph, then with an upward motion, knocked the ball out from Randolph's left arm and fellow DB Jacobi Jenkins was "Johnny on the spot" to recover the ball just before it went out of bounds at the RM 7.

An unbelievable and timely defensive play for the Gryphons. RM ran out the clock and preserved the win and its winning streak. Whew!!!

Later this weekend, I will post every memory nominated. But for now, here are the Top 10!


1. 2007 - RM's Goodwin and Jenkins run down a SouthWest Edgecombe receiver to force a turnover and preserve a 15-12 victory

2. 2009 - RM's 22-19 loss to West Craven in the NCHSAA 3-A East finals

3. 2004 - RM's 15-13 loss to Greenville Rose in the NCHAA 4-A East semifinals

4. 1999 - Having three games cancelled due to the flood waters caused by Hurricane Floyd, including a much anticipated home endowment contest with powerhouse Richmond County

5. 2003 - A Superman-like effort by Greenville Rose's Andre Brown (ran for 300 yds. on 15 carries, scored five TDs on runs of 55, 15, 25, 66, 46 yds.) His performance included a Houdini-like 66 yd. KO return for another TD. He played only three quarters as Rose won 49-28 

6. 2005 - A 21-20 win over Wilson Beddingfield in the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs

7. 2007 - Stopping Greenville Rose's 39-game winning streak with a 17-7 Gryphon triumph

8. 2001 - The longest game ever played by Rocky Mount - a four-overtime loss to Wilson Beddingfield, 46-40

9. 2002 - The RMAC's field was condemned due to its hazardous condition. The Gryphons were forced to play their remaining home games at Nash Central

10. 1988 - Winning RM's first ever game at the RMAC - a 28-0 defeat of SW Edgecombe

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ugly entries go into the RMHS football record book

Thanks to the Gryphons' 63-14 loss at Wilson Fike last Friday night, some odious school records got set.

Here they are:
1. Most points allowed in a game - 63 (63-14 Wilson Fike, 2011), previous record was 56 by Southern Nash, 1990 (56-34 SN win).

2. Most PATs allowed in a game - 9, Drayton Williams, Wilson Fike (63-14 WF win), previous record, 7, Nick Williams, J.H. Rose, 2003 (49-28 Rose win), Chris Peacock, Northern Nash, 1994 (54-31 NN win). 

3.  Most touchdowns allowed in a game - 9, Wilson Fike, 2011 (63-14 WF win).

Here are two positive factoids to come from the game: 

1. Longest fumble return for a TD - 75 yds., Mike Westry vs. Wilson Fike, 2011, previous record was 73 yds - shared by Brian Washington (vs. SN, 1992) and Barry Sears (vs. Fike, 1992).

2. Junior Mason Hines ran for 217 yards on 25 carries. The last RM rusher to gain over 200 yards in a game was Marquavis Alston. Ironically, his 240-yard effort was also in a loss - a 50-36 playoff defeat to Western Alamance in 2007.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

UNC throws more money Fox's way

Mike Fox
When it comes to paying college coaches, baseball coaches are down the totem poll from their football and basketball bretheren. But they still make a good living. 

Just ask UNC's Mike Fox.

Fox, who served as head baseball coach and athletic director at N.C. Wesleyan during the mid-80s through the 90s and won the Div. III national title (1989) with the Bishops, just got his contract extended. 

Fox spent 15 years in Rocky Mount prior to going to Chapel Hill. He also has a sister who lives here.

It was one of the things outgoing North Carolina athletics director Dick Baddour did before handing his keys over to Bubba Cunningham. He did the same for mens basketball coach Roy Williams and women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell.

Fox, who was already the highest paid college baseball coach in the state, pushed his lead way ahead of his fellow keepers of the diamond. 

Fox, in his 14th season as a head coach at his alma mater, got a $20,000 raise to his base salary at $180,000 for 2011-12. 

It will move to $220,000 in 2012-13, $240,000 in 2013-14, $250,000 in 2014-15 and $260,000 in each of the following three seasons. He also will receive an expense allowance ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 and is eligible to receive standard bonuses for advancing in the postseason and for academic progress rates.

From data from the UNC system through contracts signed by Aug. 2009,  here are the top paid baseball coaches among the 16 UNC campuses. Ironically, the top three have ties to Nash County.

1. $180,000 - Mike Fox, UNC-Chapel Hill (lived in RM, NCWC baseball coach/AD)
2. $132,500 - Billy Godwin, East Carolina (Northern Nash graduate, NCWC asst.)
3. $112,150 - Elliott Avent, N.C. State (Northern Nash graduate, NCWC asst.)
4. $95,000 - Robert Moranda, Western Carolina
5. $89,145 - Chris Pollard, Appalachian State

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nash Baseball planning hitting clinic

Nash Baseball will hold a Hitting Clinic on Saturday,  Dec. 3. The ages for this clinic will be 8 and under to 14 and under and only open to Nash County residents. The location for this clinic will be The Warehouse at 817 S. Pearl Street in Rocky Mount.

Former Rocky Mount baseball standout and former professional pitcher Jeremy Ward heads up Nash Baseball.

There will be a morning clinic and an afternoon clinic, both will only be able to accommodate 20 participants each. Ages 8-12 will have a clinic from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and ages 9-13 will go from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost of each session is $35. Each camper will receive a free T-shirt.

Former Major Leaguer Brent Butler, who hails from Scotland County, will headline this event, along with current Nash Baseball staff: 

Jeremy Ward - Former professional pitcher, RMHS, Wake Forest and Long Beach State standout, and current private instructor of pitching
Xavier Macklin - Current professional player and former Nash County/N.C. A&T standout
Sam Toler - Nash County Little League coaching legend
Andy Jones - Former Nash County/N.C. Wesleyan baseball standout
Jeremy Stewart - Former Nash County/N.C. Wesleyan baseball standout
Travis Ward - Nash County prep coaching legend

You can follow Nash Baseball on Facebook to see more details as they develop.

Woody's speaking in Greenville today

Woody Durham
For all you UNC football and basketball fans who even after his retirement, can't get enough of Woody Durham, here's a chance to hear him at least one more time.

Durham will be speaking in Greenville Thursday at the Greater Greenville Sports Club meeting at the Greenville Hilton.

After 40-years of bringing Tar Heel fans some of the most memorable moments in school history, Durham stepped down as the "Voice of the Tar Heels" on April 20. He called more than 1,800 football and men's basketball games, which included four NCAA men's basketball championships.

The lunch/meeting will begin at 11:45 a.m.!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hines tops 1,000-yard rushing mark

Mason Hines
For the first time since 2009, a Rocky Mount football player has topped the1,000-yard mark in rushing.

Junior running back Mason Hines, with his 170-yard effort Friday in the Gryphons' 27-14 loss to Wilson Hunt, reached that magical mark.

He now has 149 carries for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns and leads all rushers in the Big East Conference. His 82-yard kickoff return for a score against the Warriors was his second such effort of the season. He had earlier TD return against Bunn.  


1. 2,140, Demetric Marshall, 2006
2. 1,576, Marquavis Alston, 2007
3. 1,408, Kelvin Farmer, 1981
4. 1,376, J.J. Jones, 1990
5. 1,372, Kelly Hudgins, 2000
6. 1,354, Mychal Bynum, 2005
7. 1,227, Calvin Hudgins, 1998
8. 1,220, Linwood Silver, 1997
9. 1,181, Victor Thorne, 1979
10. 1,137, Marquavis Alston, 2009
11. 1,110, Jordan Ford, 2008
12. 1,106, Marquavis Alston, 2008
13. 1,100, Mason Hines, present
14. 1,097, Kendrick Dean, 2005
15. 1,031, Lloyd Bynum, 1976
16. 1,001, Delasio (P.D.) Bartley, 1973