An influence like Ted Day

Published 12:42 pm Monday, February 5, 2018


When Uncle Bonnie and Miss Sally (Singleton) decided to build a new home next to their existing white house, they rented it to the Day family. This provided me another opportunity to get to know another one of my heroes — Ted Day.

Ted was a star football player for the Pam Pack, and he played a position that did not get much recognition: offensive guard. Ted was not big by today’s standards, but he was tough and had a work ethic better than anyone. He later became a star and co-captain for the East Carolina Pirates and Coach Clarence Stasavich. Ted had weights that he lifted with other players in his garage when there were no weight rooms at school.

The Renns (Mike and Wayne) lived beside me and directly behind Ted. Along with Bubba, Mike and I would sneak over to see Ted and his friends working out. The three of us would try to do the same after they left, but it was to no avail.

While in the sixth grade, I was lucky to be the water boy for the football team. When I asked Coach about doing it, he told me I had to be at every practice and game! Boy, was I in “high cotton.” Ted Day made sure I had a ride to and from practice every day, thus allowing me to be a part of the team. Once while in a game at Roanoke Rapids, Ted broke his nose, and I was right there with Coach Wagner on the field. Those of us that knew Coach, knew that there was no such thing as an injury, but Ted was hurt, but too tough not to return, and he did later.

Another benefit was to go to the annual Duke-Georgia Tech football game. It was my first college game, and my Dad had me dressed to the nines. I tagged along with Ted and never once did he act like it bothered him. There are moments in life we never forget, and that was one of mine.

Ted Day returned to Washington after his career at East Carolina to help young men become better people as well as good football players. He provided a positive role model, and he exemplified hard work and the benefits it can bring. He made those he coached better people as well as better players. Little did I know that coaching would be my chosen profession because of the influence Ted Day provided me.

Heroes like Bo Lewis, Marshall Todd Singleton, Ted Day, Mickey and Steve Cochran and Billie Pittman lived in our neighborhood and always had time for the younger boys. Thanks for all you provided and taking time to spend a little with us. You will always be heroes to me!

— Harold Jr.

Harold Robinson Jr. is a native of Washington.