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EARL'S PEARLS

Fayetteville Academy and Trinity Christian warm up for N.C. Private Schools All-Star Basketball Game

Plus, Vernon Aldridge looks towards into the N.C. Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and words on the late North Carolina legend Marvin Jarman.

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Two athletes each from Fayetteville Academy and Trinity Christian will be participating in the annual N.C. Private Schools All-Star Basketball Game scheduled Saturday, March 2, at Providence Day School in Charlotte.
 
The girls will be playing at noon, followed by the boys at 2 p.m.
 
Playing for the East boys will be Xavier Johnson and Derrick Green of Fayetteville Academy and Linwood Rowe of Trinity Christian.
 
The lone Fayetteville athlete in the girls’ game is Saniyah McIntyre of Trinity Christian.
 
According to game officials, of the four Fayetteville players, McIntyre is the only one who has made a college commitment, planning to attend Virginia Wesleyan.
Johnson and Green helped lead the Academy to a No. 3 seeding and the fourth round of the NCISAA 2-A basketball playoffs before losing to Wayne Country Day.
 
Green averaged 12.0 points and 8.1 rebounds while Johnson averaged 11.7 and 4.6.
 
Rowe led Trinity to a No. 4 seed and the fourth round before falling to Davidson Day. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.7 rebounds.
 
McIntyre and her Trinity teammates were the No. 6 seed in the NCISAA 2-A girls bracket. They reached the third round before falling to Wayne Country Day.
 
McIntyre averaged 10.0 points per game. 
 
Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students. Children under eight will be admitted free. The game will be held at Mosack Athletic Center on the Providence Day campus.
 
Vernon Aldridge, former student activities director for Cumberland County Schools, said he was humbled when he received word last year he will be inducted into the N.C. Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. 
 
The ceremony honoring the hall’s 30th class, which was made public this week, will be held at the annual NCADA conference on March 18 at the Renaissance Hotel in Asheville.
 
“It’s a really great honor when you look at who’s been inducted before you,’’ Aldridge said.
 
He’ll be joining other familiar names from Fayetteville athletic history like Sheila Boles, Benny Pearce, Bill Carver, Troy Lindsey and Fred McDaniel.
 
Athletic directors rarely get headlines unless they are asked to comment on something that went wrong. But as Aldridge noted, they put in their share of long hours overseeing the total sports program for a school or an entire school system.
 
“When other folks get to go home at four or five o’clock, athletic directors often work twelve and come football season 16 hour days,’’ he said.
 
Aldridge said he often found himself spending more time with the children of other folks than he did with his own family while supervising sporting events.
 
The athletic director is often the local policeman on the athletic beat, making sure everybody observes the rules.
 
“People sometimes see that person at a game and do not realize the background, all the behind-the-scenes stuff, that has to be done,’’ he said. 
 
While coaches worry about what’s in the best interest of their team, the athletic director has to keep the total program in perspective and not play favorites. That includes running every team at a school, from junior varsity to varsity.
 
“I always tell people, you can’t necessarily be equal, but you can be equitable,’’ Aldridge said. 
 
These days, Aldridge is still active in sports, working as a business development representative for a sporting goods firm. He also mentors principals and athletic directors when asked.
 
He keeps a hectic personal schedule traveling to follow the exploits of his youngest daughter Kylie Aldridge, who is playing softball for Virginia Tech. Oldest daughter Payton, who played softball for Meredith, will get her degree as a physical therapist in May.
 
He said Kylie’s softball career was one of the reasons he retired, to allow him and his wife Kellie time to travel and watch Kylie play.
 
Things are about to get more hectic for the family since Kellie is still coaching, serving on the staff of the Gray’s Creek softball team.
 
Until softball season begins, Vernon and Kellie travel to games together. Once the Gray’s Creek season starts, Vernon will go to Friday Virginia Tech games and Kellie will join him on the weekends.
 
I normally don’t cover a lot of statewide news in this space, but this week I have to say a few words about a true North Carolina legend, Marvin Jarman, who passed away earlier this week. 
 
If you ever spent time at a game where a Fayetteville team was playing Rose High School from Greenville, you’ve seen or encountered Marvin. And that’s what everybody who met him called him. Never Mr. Jarman. He was good old Marvin.
 
He was the ultimate high school sports fan, an absolute institution at any Rose High School athletic event, home or away. But Marvin went way beyond that.
 
He was a fan of high school sports, high school athletes, high school coaches and high school people.
 
Marvin never met an enemy. And he was the same person win, lose or draw. 
 
I spent many years covering the old Eastern Regional basketball tournament when it was held in Greenville at the Rose gym and Minges Coliseum.
 
One of the highlights every year was seeing Marvin, waiting for him to come up and greet me and ask how things were going in Fayetteville.
 
It had been many years since I saw Marvin in person, and I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing. He will be sorely missed by the Rose family for sure, and by the countless high school fans statewide who had the privilege of knowing him.
 
Rest in peace Marvin. Go Rampants!
N.C. Private Schools All-Star Basketball Game, Providence Day School, Fayetteville Academy, Trinity Christian, Samuel Aponte, Tye Johnson, Xavier Johnson, Derrick Green, Linwood Rowe, Saniyah McIntyre, Virginia Wesleyan, NCISAA basketball playoffs, Mosack Athletic Center, Vernon Aldridge, NC Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame, Sheila Boles Benny Pearce Bill Carver Troy Lindsey Fred McDaniel High school athletics Marvin Jarman Greenville Rose High School Eastern Regional basketball tournament Minges Coliseum

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