Chansky’s Notebook: Why Not a One Team Town?

I will say it again. Chapel Hill should have one high school football team.

Just because Chapel Hill has three high schools, why does it need three football teams in a town where football is not very popular among the kids, who win state championships galore in a bunch of other sports? They should have turned off the Friday night lights, which was an embarrassing case in point on opening night.

The three local high schools all were shut out and outscored by a whopping 137-0. Chapel Hill got hammered by Durham Riverside, 35-0, East Chapel Hill opened at home and was blistered by Northern Vance of Henderson, 42-0, and Carrboro, well, Carrboro was demolished by Cedar Ridge, 60-0. Yep, that adds up to 137-zip.

This is nothing against the coaches who work their tails off at each school and the kids who do come out play hard and some of them are pretty good, but there simply aren’t enough of them. Chapel Hill has only 31 on its roster; East Chapel Hill isn’t much better with 35 and Carrboro, surprisingly, has the most, 41 players.

Those roster numbers aren’t way off the norm, even for bigger schools with more established programs. But for high schools that really take football seriously, the sport is year round with informal workouts and individual players training during the entire off-season. You have to believe that most of the players on local teams are what former East Carolina coach Pat Dye used to call “skinny-legged kids.”

But you can’t take three separate high schools and make one football team from them. Why not? Has anyone ever asked and offered it as an alternative to one or two of the schools putting up the pads for good? Carrboro and East Chapel Hill excel in so many other sports, and coaches there have to recruit kids to come out for the football team; forget getting them to work out in the off-season.

Chapel Hill has three high schools for a reason – the money is here to build more schools and have better student-teacher ratios and programs that benefit everybody. Football, it seems, isn’t benefiting anybody. Well, something’s gotta give this week. Carrboro plays at East Friday. Can anyone say scoreless tie?

Good News Friday – What is SKJAJA? – You Need to Know!

In covering the news and keeping the community informed, unfortunately we have to report a lot of bad news; but rest assured that every Friday throughout the summertime, when you tune into WCHL, we will have some good news to report to you!  That’s because it is “Good News Friday!”

Presented by The Strowd on Franklin Street, and their Shag Dance Fridays!


Click here to listen to Ron Stutts broadcast this week’s ‘Good News Friday’ featured story.


If you listen to WCHL, you’ve probably heard the term SKJAJA, but do you know what it actually is?  Well, you need to, because it is awesome!

The SKJAJA Fund is a local charity formed in 2008 by Chapel Hill Residents Charlotte and Eric White.

For her birthday, Eric’s sister, Kim, gave money to each of her family members with the condition that they pay it forward, and report back.

To pay it forward, Eric and Charlotte founded SKJAJA, named for Kim’s family; Scott, Kim Josh, Ashley, Jessica and Adam. SKJAJA.

But it really is more than charity.

The SKJAJA Fund provides funds for underprivileged kids in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community to participate in extracurricular enrichment activities, such as field trips, sports, music lessons, tutoring and summer camps; but the paying it forward idea continues with the concept that in return, the kids are asked to also pay it forward, by volunteering and participating in community service projects and helping others.

On paper that is such as cool concept, but in reality it is even cooler!

In an interview with WCHL’s Aaron Keck last week, Charlotte White said that they recently ran the numbers and quantified that since 2008 The SKJAJA Fund has helped over 500 kids participate in extracurricular enrichment programs, which in turn, translates to over 500 service projects. From cleaning up neighborhoods, to executing a toiletry drive for Haiti, some of the kids end up getting more excited about their service projects and paying it forward than the extracurricular activities they are granted through the program.

Primarily funded by 2 anchor events, the Beach Shack Boil in November and the Color the Hill Fun Run in May at UNC, and with  SKJAJA Clubs now in place at the three local high schools, the program continues to grow;  but with increasing need, they need your help.

Volunteer, participate in the fundraisers, and donate; all of that helps this amazing program.

Paying it forward through SKJAJA, that’s our Good News Friday story of the week!

New Athletic Director Named at East Chapel Hill High School

Randy Trumbower is the new athletic director at East Chapel Hill High School.

The position was approved by the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School Board of Education on Thursday night.

Trumbower has been a special education teacher and case manager at Chapel Hill High School since 2007, according to the district, and he has served as the chair of the Exceptional Children Department.

Trumbower was named the 2016-2017 Teach of the Year at Chapel Hill High, where he served as the head baseball coach from 2009 – 2013 and assistant athletic director since 2014.

Trumbower earned his bachelor degree from Appalachian State University while playing football and baseball for the Mountaineers.

Trumbower is replacing the retired Ray Hartsfield.

Chapel Hill Philharmonia Will Feature Local Youth Pianist

Sunday, May 1, you’re invited to the East Chapel Hill High School auditorium for a concert called “Rivers of Inspiration” by the Chapel Hill Philharmonia.

The concert features 14-year-old pianist Aram Lindroth, an eighth grader at Duke School who recently won the Philharmonia’s 2016 Youth Concerto Competition. He’ll play his winning piece, the first movement of Beethoven’s “Concerto #3 for Piano and Orchestra.” The rest of the concert will feature Strauss’s “Overture to Die Fledermaus” and Schumann’s Third Symphony, a tribute to the Rhine River. Donald Oehler will conduct.

Aram Lindroth and oboist Judy Konanc spoke with WCHL’s Chris Grunert about the concert.


“Rivers of Inspiration” starts at 7:30 and runs until about 9:15 on Sunday evening at East Chapel Hill High School. Admission is free.

Ray Hartsfield: Hometown Hero

Ray Hartsfield is Thursday’s Hometown Hero.

Ray is a veteran teacher, coach and athletic director at East Chapel Hill High School.

He’s been at the school since it opened 20 years ago.

In fact, he helped put the school on the map when his basketball team won a state championship in the very first year of the school’s existence.

He teaches students about respect, honor, and responsibility.

Ray Hartfield will retire at the end of the academic year.  He will also celebrate a birthday next week.

East Chapel Hill High School will miss Ray Hartfield as will the entire Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system and the rest of the community.

You can nominate your own Hometown Hero.  WCHL has honored local members of our community everyday since 2002.

East Chapel Hill High School Student Charged with Multiple Felonies

A student at East Chapel Hill High School is facing two felony charges in connection with multiple incidents on school grounds.

16-year-old Infinite Taylor, of Legion Road, was arrested last Wednesday after he was found with 2.6 grams of marijuana in his possession at East Chapel Hill High School.

Chapel Hill Police Lieutenant Josh Mecimore says another student alerted a security guard that Taylor had the marijuana, and Taylor was charged with felony possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana.

Mecimore says Taylor was also charged with a felony larceny that occurred on campus just before Thanksgiving.

“That was related to an incident on November 24, also at East Chapel Hill,” Mecimore says, “where a laptop was stolen from a student and the suspect was found in the possession of the laptop shortly after it was taken.”

Mecimore says Taylor is also facing a misdemeanor charge for possession of stolen goods in connection with the stolen laptop.

Taylor was scheduled to make his first appearance in Orange County Court on Monday morning.

East Chapel Hill High School Responds to Alleged Sexual Assault

A Chapel Hill mother is warning other parents after she says that her 15-year-old daughter, who is a special needs student, was sexually-assaulted at East Chapel Hill High School.

The mother told WRAL, on Friday, that two East Chapel Hill High School students forced her daughter to perform sex acts and recorded it on video.

There are no police reports or search warrants publicly available about the incident at this point, but Chapel Hill Police are investigating the alleged incident.

CHPD Lt. Josh Mecimore says, “We have an ongoing investigation involving a juvenile victim and juvenile suspects which occurred at ECHHS.”

The mother chose to remain anonymous to protect her daughter’s identity, but she told WRAL that she found out about the video from a friend whose daughter ha seen a video of the alleged assault.

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School officials say they are aware of a video that has been circulating on social media and that they are cooperating with the police investigation.

The following message was sent out to parents of East Chapel Hill High School students on Sunday evening, according to school system spokesperson Jeff Nash.

“Good afternoon. This is Eileen Tully, Principal of East Chapel Hill High School. Friday night, our school was mentioned in a television news story centered on a student-initiated sexual assault allegation.

I wanted to take a moment today to remind our school community that this type of behavior, or any actions that bring harm to our students, will never be tolerated in our school. This matter is extremely concerning.

In the case at hand, I am limited in what I can tell you, but rest assured we took appropriate action at the school with those involved and immediately contacted the Chapel Hill Police for assistance. This matter is currently under investigation by the police department and we are cooperating with them fully.

Thank you for listening and enjoy the rest of your weekend.”

The mother told WRAL that her daughter had since switched schools but that she was still being bullied as students at the new school have seen the video as well.

We will continue to update this story as more information is made available.

This is the latest in a series of events that have drawn criticism at East Chapel Hill High.

In May, emotions were high after students at East Chapel Hill took a photo holding Confederate battle flags while on a class field trip. The picture was posted to Instagram with the caption “South will rise.”

Chapel Hill Police were also called to East Chapel Hill in June for a possible overdose when four students ranging from 14 to 18 years old required simultaneous medical attention.

And in October, homophobic graffiti was spray painted on the school targeting the school’s Queer-Straight Alliance.

Petition Requests Action on Homophobic Graffiti at East Chapel Hill High School

A petition is circulating asking administrators at East Chapel Hill High School to respond to homophobic graffiti being spray painted on the school last month.

More than 400 people have added their named to a petition asking East Chapel Hill principal Eileen Tully to take three actions in responding to profanity-laced homophobic slurs spray painted on East Chapel Hill High School on September 26.

The graffiti was spray painted on a building adjacent to a parking lot where members of the school’s Queer Straight Alliance were meeting up to carpool to the NC Pride Parade in Durham.

The open letter to Principal Tully asks her to “send a message to parents and staff letting them know that these kinds of actions are not permitted at our school.”

The letter also requests that Tully conduct an extensive investigation to identify those “who took part in this act of hate and to take the subsequent actions that are necessary.”

Finally, the letter asks Tully to call for a student assembly to let students know that “East is a safe place for everyone and that the school administration will take the necessary actions to maintain a safe environment for all.”

Linnea Van Manen, a junior at East Chapel Hill and president of the Queer Straight Alliance, told WCHL via e-mail that several school board members have committed to attending the next QSA meeting at East Chapel Hill.

Posts on social media say that Tully is also scheduled to meet with Van Manen this week.

The letter calls for Tully to act before the end of October or the group will ask the Lincoln Center to take direct action.

‘F*** Gays’ Spray Painted on East Chapel Hill High School Targeting Queer-Straight Alliance

**UPDATE: Petition Requests Action on Homophobic Graffiti at East Chapel Hill High School


Homophobic graffiti was spray painted on East Chapel Hill High School targeting a school club.

Profanity-laced homophobic slurs were spray painted on parking lot signs and a building at East Chapel Hill High School in the early morning hours of Saturday, September 26.

The spray painting occurred just hours before students in the Queer-Straight Alliance at East Chapel Hill High were scheduled to meet up to carpool to the NC Pride Parade in Durham.

A report from Chapel Hill Police documents the spray painting but does not detail the vandalism.

E-mails between East Chapel Hill Principal Eileen Tully and Linnea Van Manen, who is a junior at East Chapel Hill and president of the Queer-Straight Alliance club, have been provided to WCHL.

In the correspondence, Van Manen said that she came to school on the following Monday expecting the school to address “the hate our club had faced on our way to the pride parade,” but no administrators addressed the situation.

Tully responded that she did not address the student body because she was not aware that the QSA was meeting to carpool on Saturday, and, therefore, she “had no idea that there was a connection and thought that the graffiti was a random act of ignorance and hatred and not one directed toward East students.”

Tully added that she is “terrifically sorry and incredibly saddened and upset by the graffiti painted on the building.”

Tully went on to say that she would be seeking counsel from the district for appropriate actions and response.

Tully also agreed to attend a meeting with the QSA club at East Chapel Hill, on Tuesday of the following week, to discuss the incident. Van Manen tells WCHL that during that meeting Tully had several suggestions for how to handle the situation.

“She gave a variety of suggestions on things that could be done,” Van Manen says. “Among which were an announcement to the school expressing that the school system would not tolerate hateful things like that happening and also that she would bring it up at the faculty meeting.”

Van Manen adds Tully also suggested sending out an automated message to student’s parents, “to allow for students to talk with their families about it. And her words were to talk about it ‘around the dinner table.’”

But Van Manen says the club advisor told her that the incident was not discussed during the faculty meeting and that, as of Friday evening, an automated message still had not been sent to parents.

Van Manen says she would like to see Tully make a strong statement on the incident.

“I would like for [Tully] to make it clear that the school isn’t going to tolerate these things happening,” she says. “Because when these things happen, it makes the school a less effective learning environment for all the students because students are less inclined to feel safe at their school.”

Van Manen adds, during all of this, students and teachers have rallied around the QSA to show them support.

“[Students] were coming up to me and saying very supportive things and expressing condolences,” she says. “As well as, teachers began putting flyers up in their room stating that their rooms were safe spaces for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students and their allies.”

Van Manen says she is proud of the way the group continued on with the plans to march in the pride parade in Durham after seeing the derogatory spray paint earlier in the day.

Tully turned down WCHL’s request to speak about the incident and the reaction from the school.

This is not the first time East Chapel Hill has been in a negative spotlight in recent months.

In May, emotions were high after students at East Chapel Hill took a photo holding Confederate flags while on a class field trip. The picture was posted to Instagram with the caption “South will rise.”

Chapel Hill Police were also called to East Chapel Hill in June for a possible overdose when four students ranging from 14 to 18 years old required simultaneous medical attention.

Police are continuing to investigate the spray painting. Tully told Van Manen in the e-mail correspondence that the footage from campus cameras showed the suspects spray painting but that the footage was completely blurred and unhelpful.

High School Football Preview: Week 3

This week WCHL will be at Chapel Hill High School cover the game between CHHS and Carrboro. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 o’clock.

Last year Chapel Hill beat Carrboro 41-19.

The Tigers got their first win of the season last week against South Granville 46-29. They were led by QB Conner Stough, who showed off his legs as well as his arm. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.

Carrboro is coming off of a close loss to East Chapel Hill last week 30-27. The Jaguars are looking to build off the momentum RB Greyson Magee built; the senior ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Despite his strong performance, the Jaguars still fell to 0-2 on the season.

Make sure to tune into WCHL for coverage of the game this weekend.

In other action, Orange travels to Riverside and Northwood travels to Jordan Matthews. Cedar Ridge knocked off East Chapel Hill on Thursday night 29-6.