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Coaches named for Roanoke River Rivalry

Published 12:44pm Monday, April 9, 2012

AHOSKIE – The coaches are in place.

Roanoke-Chowan Publications has announced the coaches of the All-Roanoke-Chowan Teams in the Roanoke River Rivalry game which is slated for Saturday at Hertford County High School.

“We are pleased to announce a quality group of leaders for our young men and young women as they prepare for our first-ever All-Star game,” Roanoke-Chowan Publication Managing Editor Thadd White said.

The girl’s team will be led by All-Roanoke-Chowan Coach of the Year Susan Oliver, who is Head Girl’s Basketball Coach at Ridgecroft School.

“Susan has quickly become one of the top coaches in the region,” White said. “We’re pleased that she has agreed to serve as the team’s head coach and prepare them for what we believe will be a good, but tough contest with our Roanoke Valley opponents.”

Oliver has twice been named Coach of the Year by Roanoke-Chowan Publications and earned that honor this season after a stellar campaign in which she led the Lady Rams to a second place finish despite having several key players miss multiple games due to injury.

“I am honored to be chosen,” Oliver said. “I think it will be great fun for all of our student-athletes and for the fans. I look forward to it.”

Veteran Ridgecroft Athletic Director Doug Cobbs will serve as an assistant coach on the squad after helping Oliver during the season. Cobbs is a multiple-time Coach of the Year himself before retiring from the basketball sidelines several years ago.

Also named to the staff was Bertie High School Head Women’s Basketball Coach Joan McCullough. During her first year at the helm of the Lady Falcons, McCullough led a young and inexperienced team back from a slow start to earn a playoff bid and finish in the top half of the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

Unfortunately, McCulllough will miss Saturday’s game because she will be out of state due to a previous commitment.

Heading the boy’s team will be Hertford County High School Head Boy’s Basketball Coach Charles Simmons. The Bears’ leader directed his squad to an undefeated season in the Northeastern Coastal Conference despite returning only one starter. His efforts led to him being named Coach of the Year.

His top assistant will be Bethel Christian Academy varsity boy’s coach Tommy Tripp. Tripp’s team at Bethel was excellent, finishing with 25 wins and a North Carolina Christian Athletic Association state title.

“We are pleased that Coach Simmons and Coach Tripp will provide the leadership for our boy’s team,” White said. “Both of these men are quality coaches who care deeply for their student-athletes and we’re honored they agreed to serve as coaches.”

Joining them on the bench will be Bethel Christian Academy Head JV Boy’s Coach Mark Hoggard and HCHS Assistant Head Coach Jeff Ramsey. Those two men were pivotal in the success enjoyed by the Eagles and Bears during the season.

“I am excited about coaching these young men from the four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan region,” Simmons said. “This is an honor for me and I am looking forward to working with Coach Tripp, Coach Hoggard and, of course, to continue working with Coach Ramsey.”

The Roanoke River Rivalry games will be played at 5 p.m. (Girls) and 6:30 p.m. (Boys) Saturday at Hertford County High School and will feature the All-Roanoke-Chowan Teams of Roanoke-Chowan Publications against the All-Roanoke Valley Teams of the Daily Herald in Roanoke Rapids.

Admission is $3 per person and all proceeds will be given to charity.

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