Tough act to follow

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The inaugural Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament was a success by many standards.

The teams who participated in it played hard and gave everything they had. They were some good basketball. Three student-athletes were awarded $500 towards their college education.

The tournament was hard work and I think I can safely say Joe Murray and I have a better appreciation for what people do who put together these types of events. It certainly isn’t as easy as showing up.

And I say that despite the fact that Ridgecroft School Headmaster Elton Winslow and Athletic Director Doug Cobbs did a tremendous amount of the work to prepare for the event. Their help was invaluable.

I hate to call names because if I do, I’m sure to leave someone out. The good thing is that if I do, I get to write another column next week.

In addition to Elton and Doug, we would have been lost without Briley Hedrick. She organized everything from the hospitality room to the 50-50 raffle for the Nick Brantley Scholarship Fund at Virginia Tech. We owe her a debt of gratitude.

Nancy Brittenham was also kind enough to run the clock for us and to serve on the scholarship committee. Her dedication to a task in unparalleled.

We had three different game announcers during the week, Patrick Bryant, Curly Morris and Gary Ray each lent their voices to the tournament activities. They made the games more fun and more interesting.

We couldn’t have begun to do what we were able to do as far as the scholarships if it weren’t for the three entities which donated the $500.

Nucor Steel n Hertford County, Sonny Larabee of Northeastern Orthopedic and Joe Mizelle of Mizelle’s

Accounting each gave the scholarship funds to allow us to recognized three student-athletes who played the game the way Nick Brantley played.

To say Nick gave everything would almost be an understatement. He loved playing and he gave it his all and did so with sportsmanship and a genuine passion for sports.

I believe the three student-athletes we chose n Lauren Lilley of Ridgecroft School, Drew Pinnix of Northeast Academy and Frank Feher of Bethel Christian Academy – are all people Nick would have enjoyed watching play.

I also appreciate the efforts of Andre Alfred of 2nd Chance Productions, who photographed the tournament for us. He made life a lot easier on me and my staff.

If you want pictures from the tournament, go to his website at

Also, David Shields of Golden Skillet helped us with food for the hospitality room and we appreciate his help.

I really do appreciate all the work provided by those involved in the tournament and I appreciate the coaches who took the games seriously, coached hard and made the tournament a success.

I’m looking forward to next year already.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks?

You can reach me at or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.