Submitted by Angela C. Boyd
Special to the New Journal and Guide
The Franklin Sportsman’s Association organized in 1969 to assist young African-American athletes in the City of Franklin, held its Hayden High School Annual Reunion Breakfast on Friday, November 26.
The Sportsman’s Association of more than 30 members has provided role models, character building and award incentives to local youth. The group not only provides leadership to the youth, but keeps alive the principles and values taught by Hayden High School during a past era. The Association is appreciated by former Hayden and Southampton County students who look forward to attending the “Breakfast.”
Each year the men honor three people who have exemplified the values, principles and characteristics of the organization. Honorees this year were Marie Giles Chestnutt, Greg Scott and Rufus Wilson.
Marie Giles Chestnutt drove the school bus for 48 years, serving both Franklin City schools and Southampton County over that span. She never had an accident and was never later in picking up and delivering children to school. She was the first female taxi driver in Franklin. During her 51 year career she never received a speeding ticket or had an accident. That was discipline and dedication.
The second honoree, Greg Scott is a retired NFL Defensive Lineman from Southampton County, VA. After recovering from a torn ACL and coaching two seasons at Hampton University, he manages his Cover 3 Foundation programs which “Reach, Teach and Feed” thousands of children each year. He is a motivational speaker. That is charity and character.
The third honoree was Rufus Wilson, Wakefield, VA, 91 years old who was a student bus driver at Hayden for two years, class of 1942. He worked at the Newport News Shipyard for 32 years, drove a van for 24 years, never missed a day and was never late. He is a storyteller and can bring the past to life. A man of character and discipline. The FSA president is Herman Charity and Larry Rose, Breakfast Co-Chair.