01/12/13 — Whitfield Hall of Fame welcomes 2013 class

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Whitfield Hall of Fame welcomes 2013 class

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 12, 2013 11:55 PM

Dressed in his multi-color trademark sweater he wears each year for this affair, George Whitfield took a sip of water and looked out toward the crowd filing into the Goldsboro High School auditorium.

He recognized many familiar faces who have helped him organize the Hall of Fame ceremony over the years. He acknowledged many former inductees with either a wave or nod of his head.

Whitfield silently marveled at how much this annual ceremony has grown over the years.

The veteran coach organized his notes one last time while the remaining members of the 41st Hall of Fame class walked onto the stage and found their seat.

Each inductee sat silently and listened as Whitfield read the accolades that have woven the threads in the tapestries of their respective lives. And each graciously thanked Whitfield, who presented them with a plaque that forever immortalized them on this evening.

Standing ovations overwhelmed Ching Eikenberry, wife of U.S. Ambassader Karl Eikenberry; Col. Jeannie M. Levitt, a female jet fight pilot who flew all sorts of missions during the Gulf War and is now base commander at Seymour Johnson Air Force; and Gordon Roberts, who earned a Medal of Honor for his valiant rescue of a pinned-down platoon during the Vietnam Conflict.

The ceremony also had a hometown flair, too.

"I was surprised, shocked at first and realized that it's an honor," Goldsboro High alum Anthony Teachey said. "George is a great man himself and I'm blessed that he wants to do this for more me."

Teachey, ironically, was inducted one year after former Wake Forest head basketball coach Carl Tacy. Teachey played for Tacy and the Demon Deacons from 1980-84 and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference co-player of the year with Michael Jordan.

Teachey ventured overseas for nearly a decade and returned to his native North Carolina to work with the Durham Sheriff Department. Upon leaving law enforcement, Teachey turned his attention toward helping youth and started a program for Court-Order Kids in Durham.

Five years later, he is the current director of the teen center at the Goldsboro Boys & Girls Club.

"I'm blessed to be back ... it's been great and definitely a change in society because teens don't the things that we used to have," Teachey said. "My thing is to implement some things socially for the teens to do right now with the crime rate and dropout rate the way it is.

"Those are some of the things I'm going to try to focus on."

Teachey was one of three Wayne County athletes/coaches enshrined by Whitfield.

Now retired and marking off jobs on his "honey-do list," former Goldsboro High athlete Bob Wolfe spends time between his Apex home and cabin in the mountains of Virginia.

The two keep the former coach busy, but he oftentimes visits with former coaches and players.

Wolfe guided Apex to 104 victories and two conference champions during his 18-year tenure on the sidelines. Two teams posted 10-win seasons, and his 2008 squad advanced to the quarterfinal-round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4-A state football playoffs.

"I do some traveling this year, moreso than normal, to see some kids that I coached play in college," said Wolfe, who was an Eagle Scout. "I have enjoyed that ... has been kind of nice.

"I miss some of it, but not the day-to-day grind."

Wolfe gushed over his induction and said that "Goldsboro has always been in his heart, has always been a great place and loved it growing up."

A three-year lettermen for then-coaches Doyle Whitfield and Jimmy Reaves, former Southern Wayne football standout Nelson Smith has enjoyed a stellar career.

Now the athletics director at Garner Magnet, Smith compiled a 145-29 record as head football coach for the Trojans and was the head coach for the North Carolina team during the Shrine Bowl last month.

Smith has also coached baseball and wrestling, and worked as a baseball umpire during his illustrious career. He served a two-year term as the N.C. Football Coaches Association president from 2010-11.