Crossroads; local hoop teams…all winners

Published 9:28 am Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Just like the Daytona 500 (and congrats to Dale Jr. and his legion of fans) our “Super Bowl” for this season is now complete.

Crossroads – 2014 is in the history books. On Sunday night, Gene Motley and I put the finishing touches on our biggest and most popular special section of the year.

It was a labor of love…to say the least; especially considering the age (60-plus) of the two reporters doing all this added work.

Every year, we go out into the communities served by The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and The Gates County Index to collect stories of the people, places and things that make our little corner of the state so unique. In the meantime, our advertising representatives sought support from our local businesses to help us publish this major project into a neat package that we all hope our readers enjoyed.

This year, Gene and I opted to seek out and tell the stories of the hard-working men in our local area. To make matters clear and to avoid the stigma of being sexist, we featured all women in last year’s Crossroads. This year was the men’s turn.

From start to finish, we interviewed some very interesting males. In order of appearance, we thank the following men for taking the time out of their busy schedules to share their amazing stories of success:

WRCS-AM owner and local minister, J.C. Watford;

Frank Timberlake, founder, owner and operator of The Rich Square Market, and The Ahoskie Market;

Gates County Sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Jordan, the School Resource Officer for the county’s system of public schools;

Dr. Chris White, president of Chowan University, the fastest growing private school in the state;

Gates County Emergency Services Director Billy Winn;

Local physician and professional photographer, Dr. Steven Ferguson;

The Rev. Dr. Wallace Phillips, pastor of Carpenter’s Shop Church of Ahoskie;

Conway Middle School Principal Oliver Hardy, who continues the educational legacy began by his grandfather;

Bertie County Sheriff John Holley, a 30-year law enforcement veteran;

E. Frank Stephenson Jr., a local historian and noted book author and publisher;

The father and son tandem of Danny and Shane Revelle, keeping alive a farm family tradition that dates back to 1759;

Gates County businessman Mcell Costen, a retired educator who discovered a second career;

Keion Crossen, a four-sport standout athlete at Northampton County High School who will continue his career at Western Carolina University;

Wade Askew – farmer, carpenter, community leader, seafood chef and former Gates County Commissioner;

Bertie County Emergency Services Director Mitch Cooper, the “lifesaver” of EMS operations in his native county; and

Marshall Cherry, Roanoke Electric Cooperative’s Chief Operating Officer and President of the Board of Directors of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce.

If you missed any of the weekly installments of Crossroads – 2014, inserted into The News-Herald and The Index, we have additional copies here at our Ahoskie office. Call me at 332-7207 and I’ll make sure one is set aside in your name.

And be sure to patronize those advertisers that helped make this special edition possible.

March Madness

After 20-or-so regular season games, to include annual appearances in Holiday hoops tournaments, and the tension of post-season conference tournaments, the Roanoke-Chowan area will proudly send seven teams into the NCHSAA State Basketball Tournament that got underway on Monday of this week.

On the girls’ side of the coin, two of our local teams – Bertie High and Gates County High experienced outstanding seasons, both with 21-1 records. Both won their respective conference regular season and tournament titles. Ironically, Gates County’s lone loss came at the hands of Bertie in the championship game of the 2013 Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald Holiday Classic held this past December.

The Northampton County High School girls also qualified for the state tournament.

In boys’ basketball, all four of the public high schools we cover – Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton – have punched their ticket to “March Madness.” Of that group, Hertford County (18-4 overall) and NorthamptonCounty (17-5) won the regular season championship of their respective conferences.

Congratulations to all those teams and best of luck to all in your efforts to add another piece of shiny hardware to your trophy case.

Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal