From 10th Street to the NFL-once removed

Published 4:55 pm Monday, January 9, 2023

It is funny how lives intertwine in ways you would never image.  You see, Keith Roach lived a block from me growing up and is four years my junior.  He played whiffle ball, basketball and baseball in the lot beside my house and became a scholarship athlete in basketball.

 After college, I had moved to Williamston to take a teaching and coaching position at Williamston High School and found Keith working on the police force.  Later he became the High Sheriff in Martin County.  No one called me Harold Jr. in Williamston, but Keith. Keith kept that name alive and I told stories about me and Bubba wearing him out with rocks from our sling shots, so I guess it was equal.

Later he married Amy Hardison, who was a terrific athlete at Williamston High in basketball and tennis and a scholar athlete at that. Amy is now a retired accountant working part-time for her brother-in-law, Larry Keech.  They are living at Swan Point and have since Keith retired, close to Karen (her sister) and Larry.

Together they had two children, both boys, Kevin and Brad.  It’s here where I get started coaching their boys. You see, I had the pleasure of coaching both of these fine young men in high school and one in college.  Kevin is the oldest and he was an All-Conference football player and made the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas but did not get to play because he was playing in the state championship game that Friday night. He later went on to play at East Carolina University as a wide receiver. He earned the name by Coach Greg Hudson of, “Where’s Roach”, because of his ability to catch the ball and keep the drive alive.  He is now an accountant in Virginia Beach like his Mom.

Brad is the youngest, and at 6”7’, a coach’s dream at quarterback.  It was a pleasure coaching these two boys on the same team. Brad also made the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and later went on to play at Catawba and with Baltimore Ravens.  He quarterbacked two teams that made the state championships at Kenan Stadium.  One was a good team and the next wasn’t so good and those that know about football can tell the difference in a good quarterback making a team looking good. He is living Wilmington and has a football camp, From Film to the Field and is married like his brother Kevin.

To say that it is a small world who would have two boys from 10th Street would live in the same town after they grew up is amazing. Having coached his sons was truly a pleasure and putting up with their Dad is really amazing.  Mom was never a problem and still is the rock of her family.  It is a small world after all!

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

Harold Jr.