Belhaven to honor Packers’ C. J. Wilson

Published 11:01 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011

As Belhaven’s favorite son, C.J. Wilson returns home after playing in the Super Bowl. The town is celebrating his return with an evening of celebration tonight.

Mayor Adam O’Neal and the Belhaven Town Council have put together a welcome-home celebration for Wilson, who just finished his rookie year in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers. The festivities are open to the public.

Events begin with a barbecue dinner at 6 p.m. at the Williams Building on West Main Street. The main program, which has a “This Is Your Life” theme, begins at 7 p.m. The program features several of Wilson’s former teachers and coaches and others who influenced his life in positive ways.

Harold Robinson, who is associated with East Carolina University’s football program and worked with Wilson while he was at ECU, will talk about Wilson, who was a standout while playing football at Northside High School and for ECU’s Pirates. Before going to ECU, Robinson was head football coach at the now-defunct Williamston High School, a frequent Northside opponent.

Wilson is the first ECU player drafted by the Packers.

Town Manager Guinn Leverett noted that Wilson was named ECU’s Defensive Player of the Year in his final season with the Pirates.

“When C.J. went to ECU, there was speculation that he would be an academic liability,” Leverett said, “but he buckled down and had one of the highest GPAs on the ECU football team.”

Wilson not only had one of the highest GPAs on the team, he also made the dean’s list for three of his four years at ECU.

“He’s our hometown son, and we are thrilled about C.J.’s accomplishments,” Leverett said. “We’re thrilled someone from our small town has achieved so much.”

Leverett said Wilson is a good person.

“He’s always done what coaches and teachers have asked of him,” Leverett said. “And he comes from a really good family with really good family values.”

“We not only want others to know, but we want C.J. to know how much we love him and how highly we think of him,” O’Neal said, “as well as how much we appreciate his accomplishments and his family.”