Although it sustained a huge loss earlier this summer, the Beddingfield varsity volleyball game served notice it will still be a force. The Bruins stopped Hunt in four games – 27-29, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 — on the Warriors home court on Thursday.
It was a small measure of revenge for Beddingfield which lost two of three matches to Hunt last season, including the 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference tournament. The squads split the regular-season title in each's last campaign in the ECC.
Now the Bruins are the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference and Hunt has joined the 3-A Big East Conference, which is why they were playing so early in the season, instead of at the end. Hunt lost three key perfomers to graduation – Morgan Ballance, Caroline Moody and Alison Ellis — while the Bruins bid farewell to 2008 seniors Mallory Glover and Shaniqua Clay. But Beddingfield also is without its star player from a year ago, junior Jamie DeRatt. The 2008 ECC Player of the Year will attend Greenville Rose this year, leaving not only Beddingfield volleyball coach Jeremy Howard but also Bruins girls basketball coach Debra Pegram and girl soccer coach Glenn Griffin without a key starter.
Reasons for the move are personal and best to leave it at that. However, I feel a pang of wistfulness considering how much the DeRatt family has meant to athletics in that part of the county over the years. Jamie's older sisters, Barbara and Lindsey, were both standout volleyball and soccer players at Beddingfield.
Their father, Jimmy, was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker at North Carolina in the early 1970s.
Their uncle, Monte, and father lettered in baseball at UNC. Both were star football and baseball players at the old Saratoga Central High School, whose students went to Beddingfield following merger in 1978. Their grandfather was the football coach at Stantonsburg High, which merged with Saratoga to form Saratoga Central.
The DeRatts have long been part of Wilson sports lore and Jamie was writing her own chapter. We're sorry to see her leave but wish her all the best in Greenville. Rose has gotten itself a rose!