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My mistake

&uot;A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong. Which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.&uot;

– Pope

I’ve learned my greatest fault as a columnist is that in my haste to make a point, I often overlook the obvious.

That was the case last week when I mistakenly took a shot at Hertford County High School volleyball and indirectly at head coach Jane Futrell.

Any, even occasional reader of this column, knows that one of my favorite sports is volleyball. I enjoy the game and still like to play it when I have the opportunity.

Over the past three years as we have covered the sport it has been more than a little aggravating to me to see what has happened in some of our schools.

Some of them have not taken a real interest in the sport and they don’t care who coaches the teams or who they play or at times if they play. That happens even at schools where the teams are successful.

That being said, in the week since penning my thoughts last week about HCHS needing someone to care about the game and love it, I’ve learned they do.

This is Jane Futrell’s first year back at HCHS and it hasn’t been an easy one. There have been complications beyond her control as I’ve found out during our conversation last week.

My main issues were canceling of games and the fact they didn’t start practicing as early as they should have this season with the high number of new players that were on the roster.

Each of those things, it turns out, has a perfectly legitimate reason for having happened. Something I should have asked before making a statement.

What’s more, it was apparent to me in the time that we discussed the volleyball situation at Hertford County that Jane Futrell does care about the sport. While I never said she didn’t care about her players, I know for sure now that she does.

Teaching at Hertford County Middle School and driving to HCHS to coach volleyball isn’t an easy task. Having a small child in addition makes it even more perilous.

Still, Jane Futrell is doing her part to make volleyball better at HCHS and she is sacrificing personally to do that.

Because of my haste to say I wanted to see the program improve, I made a mistake in not getting all the information. For that, I offer Jane and HCHS my sincerest apologies.

I also want to add that Jane was classy enough to call me and discuss the situation with me in a professional manner. I appreciate that and admire her for doing so.

Changing gears slightly, I am pleased to see volleyball is getting better in the area.

Coaching seems to be improving throughout the area and some schools have put together a conscious effort to build programs instead of teams.

Ridgecroft has done well after losing two of the top players in the area – Jessica Misse two years ago and Sarah Beth Greene last year.

Despite those losses, they are one game out of first in the Tarheel Independent Conference.

Lawrence Academy graduated six starters and still stands first in the TIC thanks to the solid play Dr. Ed Clouse has gotten from senior Jenna Griffin and a host of players who fill their spots well.

Northampton County High School – East has faced injuries and other roster problems over the course of the season, but David Hasty’s team continues to be a force inside the Tar-Roanoke Conference.

Jessica Price is having a stellar year for the Lady Rams.

Northeast Academy has continued to improve in their third year as a volleyball program. Cap Pfeiffer’s club will be tough inside the league next year despite losing some very good seniors.

This year’s loss of Lindsey Bridgers was devastating to the Lady Eagles, but now that she’s back, they will make a solid showing in the final weeks of the season.

Bethel Christian Academy has some talent on their squad and the team works hard. They have the opportunity to be good before the year is over.

I haven’t been able to see Ahoskie Christian School’s team this season, but Tori Conn is as feisty as any player in the Roanoke-Chowan region and junior Amanda Hall served 25 straight points to win a set last week, so it’s obvious they are getting there.

If you haven’t seen a volleyball match, you should make the time to do so. It’s a great sport.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.