Editorial: Community togetherness triumphs

Feb. 16, 2013 @ 07:22 PM

On the entertainment and sports channel dubbing itself the worldwide leader, this past week featured a men’s college basketball marketing campaign that is old and tired, yet still leaking a bit of truth.

Rivalry week they called it. We’re not here today to tell you more about the little skirmish between the state’s flagship university and its blue-hued rival down U.S. 15-501.

Rather, we want to applaud and rejoice with the students at Northern Vance High School.

Rest assured, there’s definitely no love lost when it comes to Northern and Southern in Vance County. There’s even growing rivalry afoot, we believe, between supporters of public and charter schools.

And of course, there’s always been rivalry no matter what locale between the majesty of our mountains and the sparkling crystal coast for schools “in the country” and those “in the city.”

Northern’s team of Amber Stevenson, Nick Sharpe, Dylan Grissom, Justin Care and Ray Cheever was backed as solidly as any team of Dean Smith or Mike Krzyzewski. Jeff Arthurs, their honors engineering class teacher, was skillful and determined as he sought a way to win.

This campaign depended on the product, an idea hatched to win the N.C. State University Emerging Issues Prize for Innovation. But it was also dependant on voting done online by the public.

The other four high school finalists from across the state had larger community bases from which to draw support. But Vance County responded.

Arthurs was told about 12,000 votes were cast. And of those, Northern racked up half. That’s four schools with as many or fewer votes combined than Northern.

As the famous basketball voice during rivalry week, Dick Vitale, would say, “It was an M-and-M’er, baby. Total and complete mismatch.”

Whether the community fully grasps and understands what Sirocco will do for their computers is another matter for another day.

The community did completely grasp and embrace five students and their teacher in an effort to push them toward a reward that could lead to production of a product. Community together, rivalries put aside, for the good of the kids — Vance County shining brightly. Yes, a nice place to call home indeed.