history of Rose athletics
Athletics throughout the years
BY KEELY GAY AND ELIZABETH WILLIAMS NOVEMBER 25 2014
Athletics at Rose have changed in many ways throughout the years. Some sports that Rose had in the 1980s are not offered anymore, while other new sports have been introduced to Rose.
One of the retired Rose sports is gymnastics. From 1980 until mid 2000s, Rose had a gymnastics team. The team was established when Darlene Rose, the owner of Rose’s Gymnastics and the coach of many Rose students, went to the Rose athletic director and asked to create a school team.
“[Coaching the Rose gymnastics team] was really fun,” Rose said. “It’s too bad it fell apart, but it just got too hard with the size of my age group program and the smallness of the Rose numbers.”
Rose does not believe that gymnastics will return to Rose as a sport anytime in the near future.
“To get the number of kids I would need and to have the space and the time, in addition to everything else that we offer [at Rose’s Gymnastics], it would be difficult to do that,” Rose said. “Not that we wouldn't want to offer it, but I don't see the logistics working out.”
Although gymnastics may not return to Rose, there are sports that have made their way back into the school. One of these sports is diving. There was a diving team at Rose during the 1980s, but other schools did not provide enough competition to continue the Rose team.
“Diving was good, especially because a lot of schools didn't have teams,” former track and cross country coach Dennis Gibson said. “Fike had one, Elizabeth City had one, Rocky Mount had one, but none of the other schools had a swimming or diving team.”
However, a diving team reemerged last year at Rose. Along with returning sports, there are also new sports, such as lacrosse, that have been introduced at Rose during the past few years.
While new sports teams are trying to create traditions and set their own standards, sports such as baseball continue to follow the same pattern of previous seasons.
“In baseball, really not a whole lot has changed, and that’s a lot to do with because the head coach hasn't changed,” social studies teacher Clay Medlin said. “RV has been here for 40 some years and he's set his way, using the same pattern and things.”
Rose has had a good running program from the beginning. Between 1983-2003, Rose won 18 Conference Championships for women’s track, five for women’s cross country, and six for men’s cross country.
“Rose won the Conference Cup 11 times, giving us the nickname ‘powerhouse’ because of our overall excellence,” Gibson said.
One of the biggest changes Medlin has seen in athletics at Rose is that students are starting to focus on one sport, rather than playing two or three sports per year.
“It’s not always been the case, but there used to be more people playing multiple sports,” Medlin said. “But now that a lot of sports are starting to go year round, you're starting to see specialization in one sport.”
With more students taking on only one sport, it can be easy for them to lose support for other sports at Rose. However, Medlin believes that students and coaches alike have great support for all sports teams.
“Rose has always had and continues to have really good correlation between sports,” Medlin said. “Football coaches support the baseball team, volleyball team supports the basketball team; everybody cheers for and supports one another.”
The support of students, teachers, coaches and the community is something that has been strong since the beginning of athletics at Rose. With all of the changes in Rose athletics, the outstanding school spirit is something that has stayed constant.
“The amount of support that we have from the community here trumps anywhere else in the state,” Medlin said. “With the amount of support we have from the community, the amount of support we have from the students, the administration and all of the coaches, I think our athletics is going to do nothing but continue to rise.”