Cougars advance

The Goldsboro High School basketball team dug itself out of an early hole to beat conference rival Clinton in the first round of the state basketball playoffs tonight — after honoring players from the program’s 1998 State Championship team.

More on the Cougars’ victory — and the ’98 squad’s homecoming — will be published in the coming days. The following photographs were taken by Pride photojournalist Ashley Smith and GHS journalism teacher Mr. Fine.

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Cougars take tourney title

After winning the regular season conference championship last week, the GHS men followed up that accomplishment tonight by beating Spring Creek in the conference tournament championship game. The playoffs begin Tuesday night. More on the team’s achievements will be published in the coming days, but until then, the following shots were taken during the conference tourney.

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When talent meets power

Members of the Goldsboro High School Show Stoppers put on an emotional Black History Month performance this afternoon in the auditorium — telling the story of the African-American plight through song, dance, and spoken word. An encore performance will take place this evening at 6 p.m.

The following photographs were taken by GHS journalism teacher Mr. Fine, to allow all of our students to take in what was a powerful and moving show.

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Thank you, Seniors

It’s Senior Night at Goldsboro High School and the varsity girls are currently playing Spring Creek in a conference game with playoff implications. Following their tilt, the Cougar boys look to clinch the regular season conference championship. While we get back to covering the games, enjoy these photographs of our seniors being honored before the tip:

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Cougars sweep Wallace

The Goldsboro High School basketball program swept conference foe Wallace-Rose Hill tonight during a Cougars’ “Pink Out” event that saw more than $700 raised for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The following photographs were taken by Pride photojournalists Jade King, Ashley Smith, Shayla Greene, and journalism teacher Mr. Fine.

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Oh … and we got a FEMALE mascot!

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Zay 1K


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By CORYANA SMITH, DAIJA JAMES and ZE’MIRAH HARRIS

It doesn’t happen every night — the mother of a Goldsboro High School basketball player walking to the middle of the floor during a first quarter timeout.

But nobody had a problem with La-Trina Bullock-Teachey doing just that during tonight’s varsity men’s game against Wallace-Rose Hill. For one thing, she is a former GHS basketball great. And more importantly, she was stepping onto the hardwood to honor Isaiah Wilder — the latest Cougar to reach the 1,000 career point milestone.

It was one GHS great and another — standing side by side as the young man lifted his 1,000-point ball above his head. And it was also a mother — gushing over her son’s feat with “1K” balloons in her hand.

“It makes me feel happy. He worked hard — real, real hard. He deserves it. That and much more,” La-Trina told the Pride. “I’m overwhelmed. I’m his biggest supporter. I’m just happy. Ecstatic, really. I only want the best for him.”

The school clown, the dunking machine, the beast on the court. And after tonight, a legend.

Knowing that the milestone was well within reach, we talked to Isaiah before the game and he said he feels really good about hitting 1,000.

“I never thought I would do anything like this, but it is happening,” he said. “I’ve been playing ball ever since I was 3 or 4. I have faced and overcome a lot of obstacles. I can’t believe it.”

His teammates — and Coach Croom — can.

GHS point guard Christian Bullock — who just so happens to be Isaiah’s cousin — told the Pride he feels “happy for him” and said “he definitely deserves it.”

“He worked hard for it and we’ve been playing together since the beginning, which was approximately 5 years old,” Christian said. “I always knew he could accomplish this because he’s a pure scorer.”

Croom agrees. His team, he told the Pride, is at its best when Isaiah goes off.

“I think the team, they are definitely happy for him. They understand that Isiah is a very important piece for this team,” he said. “They know that when he plays at his very best, we’re at our best.”

Best. That’s a word that seems synonymous with Isaiah. So when Croom reflected on his star forward’s latest achievement, he didn’t seem all that surprised by it. But he was in awe of it.

“It’s a big accomplishment. You know, there’s a lot of high school basketball players who don’t get the opportunity to accomplish something like this,” he told the Pride. “But a lot of players who suit up dream of doing something like that.”

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A battle worth fighting

By ZE’MIRAH HARRIS

I remember my grandmother’s smile — how she pushed up her glasses so they wouldn’t fall off her face as she stood at the stove and stirred her grits.

I remember the song she was singing — how the sound of “Take Me to the King” blended perfectly with the smell of bacon, sausage, eggs, and cheese.

I thought about that Saturday morning one day when I was riding in the car with my mother and a single tear rolled down my cheek. You see, I had just heard that the star of those memories had cancer cells growing in her breast. And even though my mother assured me that Phyllis Battle Harris would be OK, I was still scared.

My grandmother probably wasn’t. Every morning, she opens her eyes and says a prayer. She does the same thing every night. She is saved and has been for as long as I can remember. She knows what is waiting for her after this life.

She grew up right here in Goldsboro — the fifth of thirteen children; the oldest of the girls. She ended up giving birth to four of her own. Her last baby is my mother, Delavisha.

Grandma is known for her cooking skills, her dedication to the Lord, her role in the community, and her “You Touch My Heart” banquet — an annual event that brings together family members, friends, and others she cares about for a special evening of fellowship. And on “Grandma’s Day,” she takes all of us grandkids out to eat and dedicates that day to making us feel special.

But all of us almost lost those moments forever. Cancer could have ended them. So it’s no surprise that when we got the news of her diagnosis, it was a shock to us all. Still, we hoped she would continue to prove herself to be a fighter — like she did after multiple surgeries and the installation of a defibrillator to help keep her heart beating.

That smile I remember turns into a face of sadness, but not for the reason you think. She isn’t worried about herself. That’s never been her way. The frown she is wearing is because of her family’s worries for her. She saw how hard we took it and was saddened because she didn’t want us to be upset.

My aunt, Shetula Easterling, was one of those hit the hardest by the news.

“I was shocked,” she said. “No one saw this coming. My brothers and sister always made sure she was fine and in perfect health, so when this news came out of the blue, I didn’t know how to react.”

She reacted by moving from South Carolina to Goldsboro to help take care of her mother. The truth is, all of us do what we can, but the chemotherapy has side effects that we weren’t ready for. The swelling, stomach pains, vomiting, and mood swings are hard to see, but our family will remain by her side. We’ll never stop fighting with her because nobody could ever replace her.

So when I show up to the Pink Out event at Goldsboro High School tomorrow night, this time, it will have a new meaning. I’ve worn my pink here and there for breast cancer, but now, knowing that I still get to see my grandmother every day is a blessing. Whether she’s happy, sad, angry, or even upset or in pain, I’m glad I get to see her. I love my grandma with all my heart and I pray she gets better with each passing day.

Raising money for cancer research helps — not just my grandma, but all of those who are battling this terrible disease. And tomorrow, at 5 p.m. in the GHS gym, our basketball games against Wallace-Rose Hill will, in part, be a tribute to all those who have fought and those, like my grandma, who are still fighting.

During last year’s “Play 4 Kay” event, the school raised $500. This year, with your help, we’ll raise even more. There will be raffles and T-shirt sales. And in the stands will be a community of people who have likely been touched by cancer themselves. 

So come fight alongside us. And don’t forget to wear pink. I’ll be wearing mine. For the woman who sings in praise of her Lord. For the woman who fills the house with the scents of a perfect breakfast. For the woman who taught me to be a fighter. Always.

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On to the next level

Flanked by their families, coaches, and teammates, with the stroke of a pen, two Goldsboro High School football players, including one of the school’s most prolific athletes in recent memory, took the next steps on their respective journeys today in the GHS Media Center. 

Xzavior Bowden and Jay Watson will both play football next season — Bowden for the Independence Pirates (Kansas) and Watson for Louisburg College. The following photographs were taken by Pride photojournalists Tiana Brewington and Ze’Mirah Harris. This story will be updated.

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