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Cleveland builds new community around successful program

Tom Shanahan is an author and college football integration historian honored by the FWAA for his story on the 1962 Rose Bowl.

PHOTO: Cleveland coach Scott Riley has maintained the program’s success and community support.



CLAYTON — Scott Riley freely admits it. The future worried Cleveland High’s football head coach.

That statement, taken alone, sounds as if he fretted throughout the past winter, spring and summer leading up the 2022 fall season. This, after all, is the Rams’ first year without running back Omarion Hampton, a generational talent who is now a North Carolina freshman leading the Tar Heels in rushing.

But Riley meant the 2014 season, his first as Cleveland’s head coach.

“My biggest fear was, ‘Don’t screw it up,’” Riley said.

Click here for the remainder of my News & Observer story.


I invite you to follow me on Twitter @shanny4055 and visit my website, TomShanahan.Report

— I tell untold stories of college football integration. Click here to read why.

Click here to purchase Raye of Light from August Publications.

Now that @MSU_WGolf freshmen Brooke Biermann and Katie Lu have finished their first season, they did some #NIL work for me before returning home. They discussed their summer reading list. @MSU_Football #True1960sPioneers— Tom Shanahan (@Shanny4055) May 12, 2022

RAYE of LIGHT story of Duffy Daugherty and southern Black high school coaches, most prominently Bubba Smith’s father Willie Ray Smith, laying tracks to college football’s first fully integrated rosters. This was tipping point — don’t believe Bear Bryant/USC revisionist history.— Tom Shanahan (@Shanny4055) June 8, 2021

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