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Rocky Mount set leave Gryphon Stadium with Alumni Game

May 12, 2012
By Charles Alston of North Carolina



ROCKY MOUNT - What do Danny Talbott, Eddie Joe Lynch, Tommy Warrick, Kevin Bunn and Grant Johnson have in common?
 
Each of the five helped Rocky Mount High School win one its five baseball state championships. And each is also set to be on hand as a representative of those title squads as the school will host an Alumni Baseball Game on Saturday, May 19 at 4 p.m. at Gryphon Stadium.
 
Rocky Mount High School head baseball coach Kent Cox devised the game to commemorate the final season of high school baseball at Gryphon Stadium, which sits on a plot of land where baseball has been played since 1920. The Gryphons will migrate to a new on-campus stadium next spring with the school's move to its new campus on Bethlehem Rd. next fall.

Cox wanted to pay homage to the hundreds of Rocky Mount baseball players who played there and especially recognize the coaches and players who brought the Blackbirds/Gryphons the distinction of winning a state title. Rocky Mount won state championships in 1963, 1967, 1973, 1980 and 2008 - each won by a different head coach (the late Dudley Whitley, 1963; Dale Tompkins, 1967; Jerry Carter, 1973; George Kelley, 1980; Pat Smith, 2008).

"We wanted the opportunity to let the legends of Rocky Mount get one more swing on the old field," said Wes Bradshaw, a 2000 Rocky Mount graduate and a longtime PA voice of the Gryphons who is helping organize the game. "Assistant coach Braxton Hill had the idea for the game and Kent Cox ran with it".
"I'm just happy to send the stadium out on a high note".

Two teams of alumni will face off on the field for a nine-inning affair, but all RMHS baseball alumni are invited to take part in the pre-game festivities where over 50 years of Blackbird and Gryphon players, coaches and support staff will be recognized. Pre-game festivities are scheduled to begin at approximately 3:15.

Admission is free, but donations to the RMHS program will be accepted. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. All proceeds will go to Rocky Mount Baseball.

The following alumni have confirmed that they will be playing:

Jeremy Ward '96
Chad Womble '07
Grant Johnson '08
Dillon Cockrell '09
Will Johnson '05
David Ange '97
Paul Jenkins '01
Jim Leggett ' 08
Terrell Hudgins '05
Carter Harrell  '01
Adam Weaver '02
Braxton Hill '02
Hank Jones '86
Eric Johnson '98
Jerry Smith  '95
Travis Matthews '95
Jeff Collins '74
Jeff Newsome '80                
Eddie Coats '83                  
Sam Crisp '01
Jason Battle '98
J.J. Jones '91
Jeff Williams '76
Jason Womble '04
Tommy Warrick '74
William Barringer '08
Chris Berry '08
Marcus Mitchell '91
John Kennedy '80
Gary Miller '88
Timmy Tucker '79
Kevin Bunn '80


For more information, please contact Bernie Capps (252-908-0064), Cox (252-883-9150) or Bradshaw (252-452-3280).


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