Something in the Water?
by Josh Spence

For the last several years area high school teams have shown the ability to play with, and beat the best in the state.  Perhaps the biggest success has been made by the Rose High football team, which will attempt to win its 3rd consecutive state title at the 4-A level this Saturday inside NC State’s Carter Finley Stadium.  However Rose isn’t the only school making noise on the state’s biggest stage. 

Baseball has long been a point of success for this area, but maybe never more than it has been recently.  Names like Catfish Hunter and Gaylord Perry who both played professionally give this area a rich baseball tradition.  Of course the success of the ECU Pirates is well documented.  With seven consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and two trips to the super-regionals in the last 4 years, it’s hard to ignore the Pirates success, even nationally. 

Last year, greater Greenville area high-school baseball teams added to the rich baseball tradition by winning the Class 4-A and 1-A state championships, with D.H. Conley and Farmville Central winning those titles respectively.  Add to that the fact that the Rose Rampants took home 3 out of 6 state baseball crowns from 99-04, including back-to-back in 03-04. 

For area schools perhaps the least success has come in basketball.  However, you only have to go back a few years to see that Farmville Central and Ayden Grifton combined to dominate the 2-A ranks for a period of 5 years.  From 1989 to 1993 you couldn’t stop these two programs. F.C. won back-to-back in 89-90 and then again in 93, and A.G. took home back-to-back titles in 91-92.  Also Farmville Central’s Women’s basketball team has seen recent success, making it to the state championship game in 2003.  The Jaguars will look for bigger and better things this year, as star guard and NC State recruit Megan Zullo plays in her senior year. 

It is hard to say that this success is unparalleled in other areas, especially considering the fact that Charlotte Independence football has racked up an amazing 5 straight state championships at the 4-AA level.  If Rose could win this Saturday however, it would mean that Greenville teams have won the last three 4-A state championships in both football and baseball.  A pretty amazing feat indeed, now if they could only get a shot at Independence!

Josh Spence