Rob Wooten Day
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 5, 2009 1:46 PM
FREMONT -- Hands fidgeting in his lap, Rob Wooten sat quietly.
He glanced up at a large screen, which flashed photos from his boyhood through his senior season at North Carolina.
At the table beside him sat coaches who had molded him not only into one of Wayne County's best baseball players, but a role model to friends, family and teammates.
Selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 13th round of last summer's Major League Baseball draft, Wooten returned to his hometown Sunday afternoon to receive humbling accolades on "Rob Wooten Day." He accepted a Town of Fremont proclamation from Alderman Leon Mooring, a Fremont United Methodist Church Resolution from FUMC Lay Leader Charles Bruton and the No. 14 jersey he wore while playing for Aycock.
Wooten, as is his custom, refused to claim all the credit and shared his recognition with those present at FUMC.
"I always like coming back home to Fremont," said Wooten. "It's such a wonderful place and I feel so warm when I see all these great people. None of this is possible without God, who is the most important part of all of this."
The 24-year-old Wooten, who played for Single A West Virginia last summer, thanked his former coaches -- Tim Lancaster, Larry Sasser, Charles Davis, Doyle Whitfield and Mike Fox. He also praised dignitaries Clyde King and Jerry Narron, who attended the celebration, for their timeless energy and advice.
Each coach roasted Wooten and spun stories from his days at Fremont to his time with the Tar Heels. Each anecdote drew raucous laughter, especially from the red-faced Wooten.
"Wow," said Wooten. "Seeing all these familiar faces ... everybody has had a part of what I've done (in my career). They said that every team I played on had a lot of success, but I can assure you that I was not the only one.
"There were some really good players I played with from Fremont (youth ball) to Carolina. It was some crazy talent."
Wooten still holds numerous pitching records at Aycock and led the Golden Falcons to back-to-back appearances in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A eastern regional final as a junior and senior. He also played on three College World Series teams with the Tar Heels, who finished national runner-up to Oregon State in 2006 and 2007.
Aycock coach Charles Davis recalled watching the CWS last spring and seeing "Fremont, N.C." listed as Wooten's hometown on the pitching graphic used by ESPN.
"I know it brought a smile to everybody's face ... it did to mine," said Davis.
And once again proved that a small-town community, nestled in the northwest section of Wayne County, has produced yet another talented individual.
Editor's note: For more on "Rob Wooten Day," please see the Jan. 11 print edition of the News-Argus.
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