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Beddingfield High bade an emotional farewell to a caring and concerned veteran teacher during a memorial service at the school Tuesday afternoon.
A life of 50 years that was marked by numerous medical crises the last few years ended for Scott Jones on Sunday after a short illness.
A proud athlete and graduate of Fike High, Scott transformed into a true Bruin in his tenure as an English teacher, coach and media volunteer.
But the loss spans much deeper personally.
I am grappling with the fact that no longer with us is a close friend, companion and cohort — my personal driver for our many treks to football and basketball games as well as spring sports events. A capable writer and an avid photographer, Scott and I formed a pretty good team for The Wilson Times sports staff for many years.
Our adventures and mix-ups sometimes tested our friendship but the bond endured.
Scott’s commitment and dedication to his profession merited tremendous respect. He attempted to challenge and motivate his students — although the endeavor was never easy. He worried they were missing the basics.
Scott enjoyed coaching, savoring his middle school football experience in Goldsboro. Scott coached at the junior varsity level at Fike and his coaching prowess expanded into track — where he joined Glenn Reaves, his former principal at Beddingfield, in creating what is now The Wilson Times Track Classic.
But Scott’s passion was following Tar Heels football and basketball. He followed them anywhere and everywhere, traveling all over the country.
His weekend excursions sometimes conflicted with assignments with the Times sports department. Hardships occasionally occurred but, the next day, Jones was always in attendance wherever the Heels were playing.
I’m extremely touched he considered me among his special friends — along with Reaves and Bill Robinette, former head men’s basketball coach at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College who returned to coaching at the high school level at Fike.
Robinette noted Scott was still a Fike student when their friendship originated. A couple years later, Scott was helping coach at Fike and, when Robinette was tabbed the head jayvee football coach, Scott was his defensive coordinator .
“But he was more like the head coach,” Robinette assured.
The friendship progressed to the extent that Robinette became a member of Scott’s caravan to Carolina games.
“That was a whole lot of fun; the kids were crazy about him,” Robinette expressed.
Robinette described jim as “really good in English,” emphasizing that Scott wanted every comma correctly placed.
“He was a young teacher but he was kind of old school,” Robinette said. “He thought that students should be able to write.”
Scott often visited the Robinette home.
“I am going to remember how much he liked the kids,” Robinette commented. “He enjoyed coaching; he thoroughly enjoyed coaching and teaching (the kids).”
Like Robinette, I became acquainted with Scott while he was playing football (he was a starting lineman on the Golden Demons’ 1984 team that was ranked No. 2 in the state in the 4-A ranks) and competing in track at Fike. He immediately impressed as a student of the game of football and his focus continued into track.
Scott was a member of the Times sport staff on two occasions. Separating those intervals was a brief stop at The Washington Daily Times. Upon leaving his IBM position in Raleigh, returning to Wilson and entering the education profession, Scott became a stringer for the Times sports department. He functioned in that role at the time of his death.
At football games he was photographing, Scott fretted if the majority of the action occurred in the center of the field. The quality of the gym lighting was his biggest headache at basketball games. His No. 1 mission was to submit a photo that would be heartily approved by Times sports editor Paul Durham.
Along with his photo responsibilities, Scott sometimes wrote stories on the game. He was uneasy with deadline pressure and became less enthusiastic about writing because of being confused and frustrated by the English structure of which he was accustomed as compared to the newspaper style.
In our many trips, some wrong turns occurred but, later, we laughed them off. Not funny was the night when he wrecked my car in rushing back to his home to obtain camera equipment. However, the manner in which Scott handled the situation strengthened our friendship.
His daughter, Kenyu, often accompanied us the last few years and she added a new, enjoyable dimension.
But medical issues took a gradual toll, especially upon his energy level. Yet, he always maintained a stout demeanor. Unfortunately, his personal well-being was often his major source of neglect.
Now, we are left to say goodbye to: BigScott@yahoo.com. He departed far, far too early.