Special effort

From PRIDE staff reports

Zaire Edwards knows he has to be ready when the Goldsboro High School football team takes on Nash Central tonight. It was, after all, his defense — four tackles, a fumble recovery, and a blocked extra point — that helped the Cougars hold off Charles B. Aycock in a 19-18 thriller last Friday night.

But knowing what’s on the line this evening in Rocky Mount didn’t stop the young man from waking up early and reporting to the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course long before the first bell rang at GHS this morning. He wanted to “contribute,” to “give back.”

“I just want to do whatever I can,” he said.

Volunteers from Cougar Nation were among those who showed up at the course Friday to lend their hands to a good cause: the Special Olympics. Sixteen-year-old GHS junior NyWon Bass was one of them.

“If they can do it, I know I can.” – JABARIA WILSON

He signed up because he believes in helping others and wants to maintain his reputation as a “good person” who “(people) can depend on.” And when he applies to college — perhaps Fayetteville State or the University of Alabama — to pursue a career as an athletic director, he wants admissions officers to understand the kind of person he aims to be.

“I want them to know I have some diverse extra-curricular activities,” NyWon said. “So they know I’m not a one-dimensional person.”

Volunteering for the Special Olympics has a deeper meaning for Jabaria Wilson. The 16-year-old has a cast on his wrist and hasn’t been able to suit up for the Cougar football team during its recent winning streak.

“When they told me I couldn’t play, I’ll admit, I cried a little bit,” he said.

But witnessing the Special Olympics — and being around athletes who, every day, greet adversity as simply another opportunity to persevere — is inspiring.

“If they can do it, I know I can.”


From left: Zaire Edwards, Jabaria Wilson, NyWon Bass and Coach Stephens.


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