Remembering the old neighborhood-what a time we had

Published 4:26 pm Monday, August 29, 2022

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Steve Barnes said it so perfectly, “Harold was raised behind the High School in an athletic neighborhood”! We went to sleep at night and could not wait till the morning so we could start playing a game the next day.  Because my heroes lived in the neighborhood and I could not grow up quick enough to try to be just like them.  They were Marshall Todd, Steve and Mickey Cochran, Ted Day and the late Billie Pittman.  Young people in my neighborhood grew up to compete and losing was not accepted but losing with class was.

Bubba Gerard and I were like “gym rats”. We shot basketball in the gym on the side goals and caught the basketball before it rolled onto the main floor where the varsity basketball team was practicing.  We were the smallest in the neighborhood so when the older boys wanted to play basketball it was the two of us they lifted onto the roof to slide in a window and go unlock the doors to the back.  We would slip out our windows at night to watch the Pam Pack football team play and practice.  Sometimes we got the Alligood twins to go and one night I carried Rose Ann.

I could not wait to my high school days!  Unfortunately, academics were not my strong suit and injuries slowed me down my junior and senior year, so I really never learn how to compete until my prep days and college days.  That was when coaching became my lifelong dream! Just like Bartow Houston, Howard Chapin, Bobby Alligood and yes, Choppy Wagner.  The Hall of Fame never entered my mind as a young coach, it was about helping the kids. There is a saying in coaching,” It is not about the X’s and O’s it is about the Billy’s and the Joes”! And that was the type of coach I wanted to be!

I would like to thank those classmates and others that attended my Hall of Fame Induction on August 20th!  I hope the NCHSAA put on a show greater than you expected. It was for me, and it was a night I will never forget.  Thank you for attending and thank you for being there for your classmate.  A special thanks to Steve Barnes and Ashley Vansant for the coverage you have given me.  It has been the best.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.!  The Original Washington!

 Harold Jr.