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The Roanoke Rapids High School Athletic Hall of Fame inducted it's Class of 2021 this past Saturday night during it's banquet at the Roanoke Rapids High School,

The purpose of the Roanoke Rapids High School Athletic Hall of Fame is to recognize, honor, and provide an enduring memorial for those persons whose outstanding contributions have enriched the athletic program and brought honor to the school. 

The following Class of 2021 were enshrined during the induction banquet and presented a certificcate while their plaque will be displayed in the RRHS Gym lobby for one year and then giving to the inductee. 

Photos by Les Atkins



1.  1964 Baseball Team Northeastern 3A Athletic Conference Champions

The 1964 Baseball Team played with a great deal of heart and teamwork. The Jackets never over powered any of their opponents as evidenced by five of their wins coming by one run. However, the Jackets, in the words of one of the players, "just beat 'em." The Northeastern 3A Conference of that time included many schools located in communities far larger than Roanoke Rapids. The teams from those schools were powerhouses. Teams from Kinston, New Bern, Greenville, and Jacksonville were major challenges for the small-town team. Despite that, the team played hungry and had the advantage of most having played together the previous year. It was obvious when one watched them play, that the team wanted the conference championship badly. Playing with heart and teamwork, the 1964 Baseball team became the Northeastern 3A Conference Champions. Their record was 10 wins and four losses. This group of young men was also the last championship team led by Coach J.C. Hoyle.

J. D. Lawson, F. D. Snead, V. B. Wilson, R. D. Phillips, G. W. Jones, M. C. Clippard, G. D. Myrick, H. L. Martin, D. N. Lowe, B. R. Vincent, M. G. Lewis, R. A. Warren, D. W. Bullock, J. M. Hubbard, M. W. Gukich, G. M. Portela, W. L. Daws, T. F. Dufford, D. W. Gregory, J. W. Cullom, S. M. Welch, T. M. Eure, J. F. Searcy, L. A. Denton Coaches: J. C. Hoyle, Z. R. Denny Managers: J. Y. Duffee, Jr., W. M. Holloman, V. P. Jordan


2.  Wiley Atterson Warren, Jr. Class of 1946, Baseball

After contracting polio as a two-year old, Wiley was never expected to walk again. With a determination to do what he wanted when he wanted, the polio was not a sufficient opponent. Wiley went on to play baseball and basketball at Roanoke Rapids High School, while achieving a notable record of perfect attendance in his 12 years of schooling in Weldon and Roanoke Rapids. At Roanoke Rapids High School, Wiley played forward and center on the basketball team, and first base and pitcher on the baseball team. Those RRHS baseball teams were championship level teams led by Wiley, Buddy Wrenn, Doc Murphrey, and Rock Hardison. As seniors, they lost by one run in the Eastern North Carolina State Championship. After high school, Wiley and Buddy were offered contracts with the Brooklyn Dodgers, but opted to play for Wake Forest instead, entering as roommates in 1948. The 1949 Deacons won 20 consecutive games, the Southern Conference Championship, and advanced to the College World Series where they lost in the Championship game, 2 to 1, against Texas. Wiley immediately made his mark as a left handed hitting, right handed fielding first baseman at Wake Forest. At Wake, Wiley led the Southern Conference in hitting, and was the Big Four (Duke, NC State, UNC, Wake Forest) Batting Champion in '49 with a .422 average albeit with a noticeable limp from the effects of polio. The Deacons closed out Big Four competition with a 12-1 record. He was an honor student and member of Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Fraternity, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Sports Editor of the Wake Forest newspaper, and recognized by Who's Who Among American College and University Students. As an All-Conference performer at Wake Forest, Wiley also competed for Team USA in the first ever Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1951. Wake Forest was selected as a team to represent the United States in these Olympic-style games. With similar success internationally, the Deacons/United States finished with a Silver Medal after falling to Gold Medalist Cuba. Upon graduation, Wiley began a professional baseball career as a player and was quickly asked to serve as a player manager with stints in the Carolina League with Rocky Mount, Wilson, and Mooresville. Throughout Wiley's life, baseball was a source of pride and accomplishment, but never more so than during his 50-year run as a youth baseball and basketball coach, and high school baseball coach in Raleigh. He impacted the lives of thousands of boys over that period, a period that included multiple Raleigh Little League Baseball (and basketball) Championships, the creation and management of Raleigh Babe Ruth Baseball, and the State 4A Baseball Championship at Needham Broughton High School in 1987. Many of the Broughton players were Raleigh Babe Ruth League alumni. Wiley built an entire baseball infrastructure during his time in Raleigh and that included a physical baseball facility at Needham Broughton. He was a champion of youth sports and was never shy about asking for money to help improve the experiences of young players throughout Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina. In 2005, the Wake County Board of Education, at the request of Broughton High School, named the Broughton baseball field "Wiley Warren Field" and erected a monument that includes the "baseball stops" throughout his life as Home Plate and the three bases. Roanoke Rapids High School maintains permanent residence in Raleigh as First Base on this monument


3.  Thomas Edison "Tommy" Wheeler Class of 1950, Basketball and Baseball

Tommy Wheeler graduated from RRHS, class of 1950, where he lettered in basketball (3 years) and baseball (4 years). He was co-captain of the 1950 basketball team in the forward position, a member of the Northeastern Loop All-Conference Team (Mythical Five), and set a RRHS single game scoring record of 25 points. Tommy was the first recipient of the Sam Owen Award (1950) for Best All-Around Athlete. He was a member of the Hi-Y Club and Monogram Club. In 1950-1951, Tommy attended Western Carolina Teacher's College (WCTC) on a basketball scholarship and also played baseball. After one year at WCTC, Tommy served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Germany (January 1952-December 1953) where his unit baseball team reached finals twice and were 1953 Fifth Corps Championship runners-up. Tommy played catcher on the Roanoke Rapids Robins 1955 State Semi-Pro Baseball Tournament Champions Team with 41 wins and only 3 losses. He traveled to Wichita, Kansas with the Robins and played in the 1955 National Baseball Congress Tournament. Tommy worked for the N.C. Department of Corrections for 28 years and umpired American Legion and college baseball in the late 1960's and 1970's. He was a member of Rosemary United Methodist Church. Tommy was an avid golfer, and he enjoyed fishing, quail hunting, playing the guitar, and watching old movies. After retirement, Tommy (deceased 2019) and his wife, Mae, relocated to Pitt County, N.C. where their sons Eddie and Bryan and families also live.


4.  Sidney Columbus "Sid" Deloatch, Jr. Class of 1952, Football

Sidney Deloatch graduated from RRHS, class of 1952. He grew up on Washington Street and then later moved to Hamilton Street with his mother, Hattie Best, and stepfather, Wilbur Best. He would play any sport until dark on the neighborhood lots. On those lots, he learned many lessons including the importance of relationships as those other kids became his classmates, teammates at multiple levels, and life-long friends. He also learned Roanoke Rapids toughness, a trait he carried throughout his life. Playing on those neighborhood lots led him to play three varsity sports in high school: football, basketball, and baseball becoming a Monogram Winner in that big stadium further down on Hamilton Street. He excelled in football, earning recognition as a North Carolina All-Star and an athletic scholarship to Duke University. While at Duke, Sidney earned multiple honors including All-ACC, Honorable Mention All-American by AP & UPI, and his most treasured and respected honor, as it was decided by his teammates and coaches, the Team's Most Valuable Player. His favorite memories included beating their rival, North Carolina all four years, the NorthSouth All Star game, ACC Championships, and being an Orange Bowl Champion. The other fond memory he carried was earning the ire of opposing coaches. On one historic game in 1955, Duke, prior year Orange Bowl Champions, travelled to Ohio State, prior year National Champions and Rose Bowl Champions, where at halftime, Duke was trailing 14-0. Duke made a powerful second half comeback with Sidney being key in shutting down Ohio State's Heisman Trophy winner and recovering a fumble for the go-ahead touchdown in a hard fought 21-14 win. Woody Hayes, the opposing coach, called Sidney the dirtiest football player he ever saw. Sidney saw it differently and knew what it was - it was Roanoke Rapids toughness. Also, on that afternoon, he gained a brotherin-law. A recent Ohio State graduate, George Havener, proposed to Sid's sister, Betty Jean Deloatch (1952 Roanoke Rapids graduate) with the line - "if we can't beat them, then we'll join them". After Duke, Sidney was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but chose to pursue other routes. Sid married Dorothy Mae Turner of Newton, NC in 1961 which led to three children: Sid III (Chicago, IL), Jack (Columbus, OH) and Laura (Denver, CO) along with four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He worked 31 years for Roadway Express in progressive leadership roles, earning accolades across multiple cities. In 1992, he retired and travelled with his family creating lasting memories of his love for his family. He lost his battle with cancer in 2001 with his family at his side. While there would be no second half victory in that battle, he fought to the end with that Roanoke Rapids toughness


5. Thomas Adkins “Tommy” Merritt, Jr. Class of 1963, Basketball

From 1960-1963, Tommy Merritt was a standout basketball player at Roanoke Rapids High School. Playing for RRHS Hall of Fame Coach Don Curtis, Tommy scored 920 points over his four-year career. His career averages of 19.8 points and 18.5 rebounds helped lead a dominant period for the Yellow Jackets, as they were champions of the Northeastern Conference regular season and tournament in 1962 and runners-up in the 1963 regular season and tournament. In both seasons, Tommy was selected to the NE Conference All-Conference and All-Tournament teams and took home tournament MVP honors in the legendary 1962 season for RRHS. After completing his career at RRHS, Tommy participated in the 1963 East-West All-Star game and was the only member of the team selected from the Eastern District 3A division. Tommy attended and played basketball on scholarship for four seasons at the Virginia Military Institute, majoring in Biology. After completing his studies at VMI with a major in Biology, he became a science teacher in Virginia for two years and then returned to RRHS. Over nearly three decades at RRHS, Tommy influenced and inspired generations of local students. He continued to do so after retiring by taking his talents to Halifax Academy where he continued to spread his love of young adults and the sciences over the next two decades. Tommy resides in Roanoke Rapids with his wife, Betsey. He is one of the very few proud alumni to be part of an immediate family with four generations of RRHS graduates, ranging from the 1930's to the current day. In retirement, he enjoys his time outside, gardening, fishing, hunting, and providing sage advice to those who need it.


6.  Charles Edward "Chubby" Butler Class of 1981, Football and Baseball

Charles E. "Chubby" Butler graduated from RRHS in 1981. His career as a student athlete was from 1978-1981 where he excelled in both baseball and football. He led the Yellow Jackets as a quarterback of the football team and outstanding pitcher on the baseball team. During these years, he won multiple conference championships, earning All-Conference Honors and MVP awards in baseball. He excelled especially in baseball and his "never quit" efforts earned him a baseball scholarship to East Carolina University from 1982-1985. Growing up, Chubby lived in several different textile mill neighborhoods in Roanoke Rapids. He moved from house to house, overcoming some of life's difficulties while being raised in a low-income family. With the support and coaching of many individuals in the Roanoke Rapids Youth football and baseball athletic programs, the work ethic and determination instilled in Chubby by the coaches during his sports-playing days allowed him to be the first to graduate from high school and college in his family. After playing baseball at ECU for four years and participating in two NCAA College Championship tournaments, Chubby graduated and took a position as a Special Agent with the Federal Government. Chubby continued with his "never quit" attitude and determination to succeed. He completed a 30-year career as a Special Agent for the OIG and with the FBI as a Task Force Agent where he received letters of accommodation from several Presidential Appointees for his efforts in major criminal fraud and corruption cases in different parts of the United States. Chubby will forever be grateful to the coaches and teachers who were role models and to other individuals within the Roanoke Rapids community who helped him grow and achieve his athletic, educational, and professional success in life.


7.  John Palmer Stainback II Class of 1982, Tennis

John Palmer Stainback II was an outstanding student and athlete at Roanoke Rapids High School from 1978-1982. He was the first RRHS tennis player to win the NCHSAA Eastern Sectionals Tennis Tournament. This was additionally exceptional as he competed against players from all school classifications, 1A, 2A, 3A, and 4A, to win the tournament in 1982. He went on to place in the top eight in the state, his final loss coming at the hands of a player who would go on to play in the U.S. Open. At age 16, John was ranked by the USTA as the 14th best singles player and, along with Jon Gaskins, as the 3rd best doubles team in North Carolina. At RRHS, he was undefeated his freshman and sophomore seasons, and made All-Conference as a junior. As a senior, he served as team captain, was selected as Most Valuable Player, and made the All-Conference and All-Sectional Teams. John won the NCHSAA Eastern Sectionals Championship and helped RRHS win the Sectional Championship in 1982. In his high school career, his conference record was 62 wins against only four losses. John attended N.C. State University receiving a degree in Turf Management/Horticulture and worked for Scotts fertilizer for 13 years. Later he furthered his education receiving a degree in Organizational Management and worked eight years in pharmaceutical sales. Currently, John is the instrument and control supervisor at the Vogtle Nuclear power plant in Augusta GA. John lives in Florence, SC with his wife, Lera, a RN, and their six children.


8.  Keith Nigel Sledge Class of 1983, Basketball

Keith Nigel Sledge graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School in 1983. He played basketball all four years, JV Football one year, and ran track three years. During his junior and senior year, he was All-Conference, Conference Player of the Year, and All-East First Team. During his senior year, he was ranked as the 24th best two guard (shooting guard) in the nation and was recognized as McDonald's All-American honorable mention. Keith attended East Carolina University (ECU) where he played basketball all four years. During his freshman season, Keith was named Eastern College Athletic Conference South Rookie of the Week three times. During his junior and senior year, he was voted team Captain by his teammates and coaches. He was ECU's Defensive Player of the Year his junior and senior seasons. Keith worked at Kennametal for one year as a Quality Assurance Inspector. He worked with Virginia Power for five years as a System Surveyor, and with Electronics Data System as a Business Analyst for four years. Keith worked as a Network Engineer with Verizon for 18 years, and took a severance package in December of 2018. Keith went back to Verizon in February of 2020, and is currently doing the same job, but as a contractor with Nextgen.


9.  Judson Bryce Dunlevy Class of 2003, Football

Judson graduated from RRHS in 2003. While attending high school, he participated in football, basketball, the French Club, the Monogram Club, and the National Honor Society. On the football field, Judson was a four-year letterman for Coach Tim Bennett from 1999-2002. He earned All-Conference honors in each of his last three seasons, and represented the East team in the North Carolina East-West All-Star game following his senior year. Judson went on to attend Virginia Tech and joined the football team as a preferred walk on for legendary coach Frank Beamer. After redshirting during the 2003 season, he made his way onto the field handling specific kickoff duties between 2004-2006. Notable starts during this stretch included the inaugural ACC Championship game in 2005 against Florida State, the 2005 Toyota Gator Bowl against Louisville, and the 2006 Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the University of Georgia. As a redshirt senior in 2007, Judson earned the outright starting roles as place-kicker and kickoff specialist. The Hokies went on to win the ACC Championship game against Boston College and finished the regular season ranked #3 in the nation, narrowly missing a shot at the FBS national championship game. For the season, he was 21/ 26 on FG's with a long of 52 yards against UNC, earning him a nomination as a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza award given to the nation's top place-kicker. In addition to earning the Specialist of the Year award from the Virginia Tech coaching staff following the season, Judson was a member of the 2007 AllACC Academic Football Team, 2007 VASID All-State Football Team, and 2008 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society. Since wrapping up his playing career, Judson has remained active in the sport through coaching and place-kicking instruction. For any level of attained athletic success, he credits his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ along with the unwavering support of his parents, family, friends, coaches, and teammates. Jud and his wife, Caitlin, have three daughters and currently reside in Richmond Hill, GA.


10.  1993 Girls Tennis Team 2A State Champions

The RRHS 1993 Girls Tennis Team was a group of motivated and hardworking young ladies. In 1990, when the Girls Tennis Team finished second in the Northeastern Conference Championship, the coaches knew there was something special in the making with this team. The girls' journey started when they were challenged to work hard to improve their game. They accepted the challenge and their efforts were rewarded. In 1991, not only did they win the Conference Championship, but they were also crowned the Eastern Regional Champions. The team ultimately lost to Charlotte Catholic in the 2A State Championship. History repeated itself in 1992 when the ladies again fell to Charlotte Catholic in the State Championship match. After being so close in 1991 and 1992, the 1993 ladies had something to prove. They made their way to the state finals where they defeated Salisbury 5-4 to become the 1993 North Carolina 2A State Champions. Sarah Stevenson was voted the Most Valuable Player of the State Championship match. After the persistence and hard work in which the ladies put into achieving their goal of a State Championship, it was only fitting that they also won the Tom Suiter Extra Effort Award. Every girl in the top six starters won a championship either in singles or doubles. The team members were: Nicole Clark, Gin Watson, Leslie Waring, Susan Patton, Sarah Stevenson, Debbie Portela, Holly Bryan, Amanda Covington, Sarah Grizzard, Kathy Lin, Stephanie Medlin, Amy Powell, Emily Stevenson, and Sarah Wood. Their four year record was 62 wins and 7 losses. The outstanding accomplishments of the girls brought pride to the team, school, and community. Coaches Lee West, Joan Gilstrap, and Betsy Williams were proud of their girls' dedication and efforts in each match. The RRHS 1993 Girls Tennis Team was an awesome group of ladies to coach!

Emily Stevenson, Sarah Stevenson, Leslie Waring, Holly Bryan, Amanda Covington, Amy Powell, Debbie Portela, Gin Watson, Coach Betsy Williams, Coach Joan Gilstrap, Susan Patton, Sarah Wood, Kathy Lin, Nicole Clarke, Sarah Grizzard, Stephanie Medlin, Head Coach Lee West


Opening Remarks video can be seen at :  https://youtu.be/eiR4jLM4IPA


Complete 2021 RRHS Athletic Hall of Fame video can be seen at: https://www.facebook.com/1339697795/videos/3041934442720701/



Class of 2010 – The Inaugural Class Don Curtis

Class of 2016 Jami Dickerson Kareem Martin Carleen Goodwin Joe Searcy, Jr. Arthur Ray Hawkins Tom Topping James Cranford Hoyle Lee West Tommy King 2009 Football Team

Class of 2017 Brian Barnes Keisha Johnson Sarah Arnette Byrd Gilbert Portela Terry Frazier Earl Telliga, Jr. Edward George, Jr. Woody Wilson Bobby Gray 2000 Football Team

Class of 2018 Pamela Ann “Pam” Andrews Wallace Edward “Ed” Nelson, Jr. David Allen Butts Ronald Ray Sewell Robert Edison “Bobby” Carter Virginia Lee “Gin” Watson Jenkins Arthur Morris Davis III Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Wrenn Walter Linwood Jones III 1968 Football Team

Class of 2019 Olivia Hamill Ballew John Cameron Little Samuel Paul Dickens George Earl Nethercutt Carey Essex Foster William Thomas “Billy” Stanley Michael Wayne “Mickey” Gukich Russell Weinstein Brian Thomas Howard 1991 Golf Team


Home of the Yellow Jackets ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME STEERING COMMITTEE Steve Holliday, Class of '66 Rex Stainback, Class of '74 Rocky Lane, Class of '69 Mark Snead, Class of ‘92 Lynn Little, Class of '72 Keisha Johnson, Class of ‘93 Randy Archer, Class of '73 Randy Wrenn