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2014 Rewind: January

The first month of 2014 proved to be a sad one as sports fans from across the Roanoke-Chowan area as well as the state and nation mourned the loss of a coaching legend.

The final whistle sounded for Coach Daryl Allen on Jan. 15.  Allen devoted more than a half-century to directing the football fortunes at Erwin, Ahoskie and Hertford County high schools, compiling 306 wins in the process, an effort that ranks sixth all-time in the state of North Carolina.

He never really retired from coaching….helping his son, Eddie, at Hertford County Middle School later in life.

His Ahoskie/HCHS teams won seven outright conference championships, and participated in nearly 40 state play-off games, to include winning four Eastern State titles (1974, 1979 and 1986 at Ahoskie High and 1988 at HCHS).

Nearly 70 of his former players went on to play college football, three of which made it to the NFL – Timmy Newsome (Dallas Cowboys), Bobby Futrell (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Sam Harrell (Minnesota Vikings). Another former player, Greg Harrell, later became a member of the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team.

Allen was the State Coach of the Year in the 1980’s, served as head coach of the East team in the 1984 NCHSAA State All-Star Game, and is a member of both the North Carolina Football Coaches Hall of Fame and the Chowan University/Jim Garrison Sports Hall of Fame.

Deadly weekend

Mid-January brought more sad news when four individuals died the same weekend in separate incidents.

A Friday night recreational outing to take in a high school basketball game in Windsor took a tragic turn near Colerain when three family members – Willie Lee Perry, 48, his wife, 51-year-old Phyllis Hayes Perry, and the couple’s 15 month old granddaughter, Madison Jaylaya Perry, all of Colerain – lost their lives in the accident just off Wakelon Road (SR 1001) in Bertie County.

One day later, Zachary Stoyer, age 13 of Cofield died of electrocution after he stepped onto a live electrical line downed by a motor vehicle accident of which he was a passenger. The mishap occurred on NC 42 approximately two miles west of Colerain.

Bank robbers nabbed

Two Edenton men, both with an adult life full of criminal activity, were arrested Jan. 9 after robbing the Wells Fargo Bank on South King Street in Windsor.

William Chadwick Twine, 45, and 50-year-old Michael Rankins each stand charged with armed robbery and assault by pointing a gun. No one was injured in the bank.

Other top headlines

Bertie County Clerk of Superior Court John Tyler retired after 29 years in office.

Tyler began his clerkship in Windsor in 1984, with an appointment by then Superior Court Judge Richard Allsbrook. He was elected to his first full term over a year later. He leaves office as the 4th-longest serving Clerk of Court in the state of North Carolina.

Southern Bank announced in January that it plans to close 12 offices, including four in the Roanoke-Chowan area: branches in Askewville, Aulander, Roxobel, and Woodland.

Dr. John Parker – born, raised and educated in Northampton County – was the choice to serve as Interim Superintendent of Northampton County Public Schools. He replaces Dr. Eric C. Bracy who resigned in late December to accept the position of superintendent of the Sampson County Public Schools.