Thank you for your help

Published 10:35 am Saturday, January 23, 2010

This has been an eventful week at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.

During the past few days we have unveiled the All-Roanoke-Chowan Teams in high school varsity football, soccer, tennis and volleyball for the first time in about three years.

When the idea of bringing the teams back came to my desk, I was in favor of it. I never wanted to stop doing them in the first place, but we reached a point when we couldn’t get the nominations we needed and I, frankly, gave up and stopped trying.

The idea came to me to do an eight-page special section that would recognize the teams and to also have a luncheon honoring their work. It seemed like a wonderful idea and I whole-heartedly embraced it.

Now, sports guys are supposed to be in full support of ideas like this, so getting me and my editor, Cal Bryant, himself a former Sports Editor on board was pretty easy.

I’m happy to say it was equally easy to get buy-in from our new Advertising Director Brian Pavlick and his sales team of Tammy Perry and Judy Farmer. If it hadn’t been for them, the section would never have made it to press.

The advertisers who purchased spots in the section – Gates County Farm Bureau, Hunter’s Funeral Home, United Country Joe Murray Realty, Hertford County Athletic Association, Ridgecroft School Booster Club and Lawrence Academy Booster Club – were the reason we could have the section at all. I am very grateful to them.

That was just the beginning of the help the sports department received in putting this first-ever edition on the streets.

Multimedia Manager Patrick Bryant is one of the most talented ad designers we’ve ever had and that’s saying something considering the talent that has set in that chair.

He designed almost every ad in the section and the advertisers were all very pleased with what he was able to give them. Indeed, his work made the section better as a whole and I appreciate all he did.

Patrick also designed the certificates we presented to the student-athletes at the luncheon which I was more than happy with.

When I originally approached David Shields of Catherine’s Restaurant about honoring the 50-plus student-athletes, he was all in favor. He knew we had a limited budget and he did everything he could to help the students be honored in a manner fitting their award. We are in his debt for his help.

The section itself would never have gotten off the ground without the approval of Steve Stewart, the Vice President of Boone Newspapers who is directly responsible for operations at the News-Herald. I appreciate his support and that of our now-retired Advertising Director Bob Taylor, both of whom were behind the project from its onset.

My wife, Lyndal, and my two sons, Alex and Camden, dealt with me being rushed and sometimes frustrated throughout the course of the events and were always there to support me. I love them always and especially appreciate their patience during the last several weeks.

Also, the Athletic Directors, coaches and principals of our local high schools were so supportive of our efforts to recognize their students. I am appreciative of their help.

Finally, are the student-athletes themselves. They were the terrific young people that I always have known them to be and I am glad we were able to play a small part in recognizing their accomplishments.

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