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Isiah Jones expands his game, boosts Rolesville’s aspirations

The newspaper industry provided me a four-decade career experiencing inspiration, dedication and just plain fun. The start of my career covering the Chargers, college, high school sports and Olympic athletes came full circle with Don Coryell’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction on August 5 in Canton, Ohio. I helped Hall of Famer Dan Fouts with research on Coryell’s remarkable record of first-time Pro Bowlers with the SAN DIEGO Chargers and Cardinal for Fouts’ presentation to the voters.

So, despite the demise of newspapers and no longer having my feet rooted in a paper, I enjoy dipping my toes with the News & Observer to write about Wake County’s top high school athletes.

PHOTO (News & Observer): Rolesville’s NC State-bound Isiah Jones can beat opponents with and without the ball.


ROLESVILLE — Optimism, rightfully so, is rising at Rolesville High these days. The school that opened 10 years ago when it split from Wake Forest High increasingly looks comfortable among the state’s football powers.

The Rams, an NCHSAA East Region semifinalist a year ago, opened the season last week with a 21-19 upset of visiting Butler, a perennial state power from the Charlotte area. The victory jumped Rolesville into the latest rankings at No. 17 in the Carolinas Top 25 and No. 7 in the state 4A poll.

A challenging schedule reflects Rolesville’s desire to play among the state’s elite, even though it means another week looking up in the polls. The Rams play Grimsley, No. 2 in the Carolinas 25 and No. 1 in 4A, at 7 p.m. Friday in Greensboro.

Click here to read more: Rolesville’s Isiah Jones.


Tom Shanahan, who covered the Air Coryell Chargers, is an author and historian on college football integration of one book, “Raye of Light,” with second book due out soon, “The Right Thing To Do.” The Football Writers Association of America awarded him first place for his story on the 1962 Rose Bowl, Alabama and segregation


Previous weekly features this season:

— August 18, Millbrook’s Mason Fortune


I invite you to follow me on Twitter @shanny4055.

Click here for my story on the 1962 Rose Bowl and Segregation awarded first place by the Football Writers Association of America. I tell untold stories on Michigan State’s leading role and the true pioneers of college football integration. Click here to read a summary.

Click here for my NIL partners.

Click here to purchase Raye of Light.


Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the 1ntegration of College Football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans

Foreword by Tony Dungy

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