Jones headed to national All-star game

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 1:00 pm

Congratulations to Roanoke Rapids senior Nazair Jones.

He is the third Roanoke Rapids football player selected to play in the Offense-Defense All-American Game in four years, following Kareem Martin (2009) and J.J. Patterson (2011).

The game will be played in Houston shortly after Christmas, and features some of the top high school football talent in the country.

I’m always happy to see local youth athletes receive such accolades. No disrespect to previous athletes achieving such recognition, but I am more excited for Jones than past athletes because of what he has had to overcome in the last year.

Right after football season ended last fall, Jones got up one morning to go to the bathroom and found out he could not even walk. He was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, a debilitating disease attacking the nervous system.

Seeing Jones not even be able to walk last November was really scary. Like many people, I was wondering if he would ever be able to walk again, much less play football.

He is still not 100 percent, but how far he has come is pretty amazing.

Racing back in Brinkleyville?

I talked to Buddy Isles Wednesday and he told me there is an effort to bring dirt track racing back to Brinkleyville.

Isles, of Littleton, was one of the many stock car drivers competing in Brinkleyville when the track opened in 1989.

When I first moved to the Roanoke Valley, I called the races every Saturday night on the radio. The short track was called Champion Raceway at the time, then owned by Alton Warren.

The Clary’s, including Monk Clary, a former track champion, currently own the speedway.

At 2 p.m. Sunday there will be a meeting at the grandstand at the track in Brinkleyville.

Isles told me they are still looking for investors, workers or anybody that wants to be a part of the re-opening of Clary’s Speedway.

Isles said they hope to have a couple of events in October, followed by the Brick Dirt Nationals in November, an event which had drivers from as far as 600 miles away come to the Roanoke Valley to compete when Clary’s Speedway was up and running as recent as four years ago.

The tentative plan is to have the track up and running on a full schedule by next spring.

If one is interested in helping get Clary’s up and running once again, call Isles at 252-532-0616.The economy may have had something to do with the shutdown of the racing operations at Clary’s, much like Kenly, which was also closed for a few years until this season.

If you would like to see racing return to Brinkleyville, you have your chance to show your support Sunday.

Will we hear “Gentlemen, start your engines,” in Brinkleyville soon? Only time will tell.

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