I was glad to write this one

Published 5:37 pm Thursday, July 16, 2009

I couldn’t even begin to count the number of stories I’ve written over the years.

There have been ones that I have been proud of, ones that I wish didn’t have my name on them and ones that I quite simply don’t remember at all.

There have many that have given me great joy to write. I was pleased to inform our readers that Greg Watford was returning to Hertford County High School, that Robert Kravitz had been hired at Lawrence Academy or to report the latest successes in our public government.

Few, however, top the one that I was able to write for our sports section this week when we announced that Brandon Hodges has been named Assistant Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach at Ridgecroft School.

I was pleased for Ridgecroft, of course. The day Doug Cobbs decides to retire is certainly closer than it ever has been. For the school to take the step of bringing in someone who can learn from him and – eventually – replace him was huge.

It is probably one of the most forward-thinking ideas brought forth by any of the local boards at private schools in recent years.

All of that had little to do with why I was pleased to write the story, however. The reason I was proud write the story is completely personal.

Brandon Hodges isn’t just a baseball coach for me. He is a good one, of course, but that has little to do with it either.

The reason I’m proud to be writing the story is that I’m so happy to see Brandon, his wife Anna, and their two children returning to this area. I want my son, who happens to be their god son, to be able to spend more time with people that are important in his life.

When Alex was born, his god parents lived next door and they were with him constantly. Since then, they’ve been living in Pitt County where Brandon has finished his college degree, learned quite a bit about coaching and made contacts that will likely prove important for his school and his career.

I always knew it was important for Brandon to finish his education and prepare himself for the future. I was never disappointed that he and his family had to leave. Sure, I knew they would be missed, but by the same token, I knew he was securing the future of his family and that was important.

Now he has done that and I’m excited to see him returning. I’m excited about spending time with the Hodges family and about being around to see him coach his teams at Ridgecroft.

Mostly, however, I am excited that my son will have the positive influence of another Christian family in his life on a more regular basis. Alex’s mother and I chose them because of their core Christian values, their love for our son and for their understanding of good, Christian parenting.

It’s an exciting story for me and one that I’m glad I was able to write.

Thadd White is Staff Writer and Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached via email at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or by telephone at 252-332-7211.