The End of an Era…Sort Of

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Watching the Eastern Regionals at Minges Coliseum in Greenville with Bryan C. Hanks as Greene Central defeated Clinton to make it to the state title game on March 3. (Photo by William “Bud” Hardy)

This anniversary will be the close of one chapter and the beginning of another.

On December 14, 2017, I wrote my first article on this website without any knowledge how it would be received. My initial goal was to give the community an alternative from a normalcy some complained about, but building something from the ground floor can be tough. Still, this was the chance I was willing to take.

Now, on the six-month anniversary of The Flourish Post, I’m here to announce this will be the last article written. Over the past few weeks, there was a footnote about material being transferred to Neuse News and with the organization’s rollout Wednesday, it’s time to shut this down. Starting Monday, I’ll be writing sports for Neuse News with the same volume and proficiency as this site; maybe even better. The purpose of The Flourish Post was to create local content for Lenoir County and surrounding areas in sports; Neuse News will enhance that while adding news, entertainment and much more for the community. With a team with Jon Dawson, Bryan Hanks, William “Bud” Hardy, B.J. Murphy, Michelle Taylor and Linda Whittington, success is definitely on the horizon.

Still, what an incredible ride over here.

This will be the 275th story on a site some didn’t expect to be around long. There was no major market behind it; just word of mouth, a social media presence, a pretty good writer and hope the community would rally around it. To some, it was simply a personal blog.

The narrative certainly changed as time progressed.

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Kinston’s Damian Dunn throws one down in a Dec. 17, 2017 game against Greene Central, my first big game with The Flourish Post. (Photo by William “Bud” Hardy).

I want to thank the coaches and players for continuing to work with me despite not having the backing of a noted company. You all believed in my vision and allowed everything to run in the same manner. Even schools outside of the region reached out, which was truly a blessing.

To the community, I appreciate the kind words throughout these six months and even during the one month I was doing little outside of freelancing. Through one of the darkest moments of my life, you all stayed in touch and remained in my corner.

To the ones who donated, words can’t describe how much it meant. I put out free content with the hopes of a couple dollars, and it meant the world to see the notifications. There were occasions I’d tear up seeing timely ones and I wanted to put even more material out as a token of appreciation.

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To King’s Restaurant, I thank you for being the initial sponsor of The Flourish Post and SERVPRO of Lenoir, Jones and Duplin Counties coming aboard. During the negotiation processes, I came to the table with a certain number of views per week, only to watch them explode soon after. Still, the fact you both came to The Flourish Post was truly a blessing.

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Then, there were the actual games. To describe everything would turn a column into a novel, but there were quite a few monumental moments throughout the tenure. Going through the sports…

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Talking to North Lenoir baseball coach Jackson Massey after a playoff win in 2017. (Photo by William “Bud” Hardy)

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

The Kinston-Greene Central four-part classic with three games being decided by two points or fewer…North Lenoir vs. South Lenoir…Jones Senior’s Janari Hill, Arendell Parrott’s A.J. Banker and Kris Wooten, the Rams’ Imajae Does reaching the 1,000-point marks…Hill scoring 64 points in a game…Kinston winning the ECC conference tournament…Greene Central reaching the state title game…Arendell Parrott winning the first playoff game the team hosted since 2004…

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Kinston dominates with a 29-game winning streak, wins the ECC regular-season and tournament titles, teaches the Regional Finals…South Lenoir’s Hunter West becomes the leading scorer in school history…Arendell Parrott wins 15 games and a playoff match after going 3-16 the year before…

BASEBALL

The North Lenoir-South Lenoir regular-season matchups, especially having the Hawks’ Quinton Pittman and Blue Devils’ Camden Noble going back and forth…Greene Central gets its first win over North Lenoir in six years…Arendell Parrott dominates the Coastal Rivers Conference…Jones Senior’s Jay King breaks the school batting average…five teams in the Eastern Carolina Conference in the Top 20 for Maxpreps 2A schools at one point…a conference so strong No. 11 Washington and 13-win Ayden-Grifton couldn’t make the playoffs (and I’m still upset about that), but Greene Central, North Lenoir, South Lenoir and West Craven all represented by winning in the first round…the Hawks making it to the Regional Finals on a walkoff suicide squeeze to break a scoreless tie…

SOFTBALL

The South Lenoir-Washington clashes…the Blue Devils advancing to the third round of the state playoffs…Greene Central’s Aniyah Jones batting an absurd .632 as the team has another great season…Ayden-Grifton winning 13 games for the first time in more than a decade…Arendell Parrott reaching the Final Four on a walkoff by Elizabeth Norris…

BOYS’ TENNIS

The North Lenoir-Greene Central battles…the Hawks winning the ECC for the first time since 2015…Arendell Parrott reaching the NCISAA championship for the second straight season…Patriots coach Donald Clark won his 650th game of the season…

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Greene Central winning 12 games after five in the previous three seasons since bringing soccer back…South Lenoir winning the most games in school history with 10…Arendell Parrott posting 15 wins and a second straight NCISAA semifinal appearance…

275 stories. More than 55,000 page views and 165,000 words written. Countless memories. I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you all for everything to help the site grow, whether it was donating, spreading the word, sharing a story or simply reading it. It means more to me than you will ever know. Now, it’s time to take my talents over to Neuse News.

See you on the other side.

The Flourish Post will soon be a part of NeuseNews.com. Please subscribe to the website now and if there are additional inquiries, contact Junious Smith III at jsmith@neusenews.com.

A Parting Gift For The Flourish Post

Although The Flourish Post will not have new content past June 14, 2018, the previous material will not vanish. Every story is free; this is simply posted with hope readers will contribute to the cause. If you would like to donate more, send money to the PayPal account, which is paypal.me/theflourishpost or through the Cash app, where the username is $FlourishSeason

$5.00

 

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