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Bertie Coach is inducted into alma mater's Athletic Hall of Fame

 Coach Jackie Copeland in front of Barton College sports backdrop

Bertie High School’s Coach inducted into Barton College’s

Athletic Hall of Fame


WILSON—You may recall that in back in February, Coach Jackie Copeland of Bertie High School, was a guest speaker at the 9th Annual Celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day at Barton College.


There, she along with fellow Barton College alumni, spoke on their passions that led them from being students athletes to the successful roles they are in today.


Well … Little did WE know, but two days later, Coach Copeland got a call from Barton College President Douglas N. Searcy and her former Coach, Ms. Wendee Saintsing—who told her a secret that she would have to keep all the way up until THIS month!


Recently, we found out what the secret was:  On Oct. 18th, Coach Jackie Copeland was officially inducted into the Barton College Athletic Hall of Fame.


“I have known for almost a year, and I have been so excited,” said Copeland. “But I could not discuss it!


“I was ecstatic and honored, but I could not share.”


Copeland has been playing and coaching basketball, softball and tennis all of her life. She has been a high school coach for 27 years at Bertie High School. Copeland currently teaches Health and PE at Bertie High School and is the Head Coach of tennis and softball there.


As if being inducted into your alma mater’s Athletic Hall of Fame is not enough, on the Friday that Copeland was to be inducted, two of her star tennis players, Alyssa Byrum and Lindsey Dickens, were to compete in the two-day regional 2A doubles tennis finals in Greene County. AND is was Bertie’s homecoming, to boot!


Copeland said she was an emotional wreck for two days!


“I was so emotional and nervous about the ceremony for myself,” she said, “and I had to coach the tennis matches on Friday ‘virtually,’ streaming them live from my cell phone on the way to Wilson to the reception that started at five thirty!


“It was a roller coaster ride for two days!”


Copeland said she was No. 149 to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, having been voted on to be as such by the Barton College Board of Trustees and the Barton College “Bulldog Club.”


She said a special thank-you goes to her family, who has always supported her—her mother and father, Edith and Jack Williford; sister, Angela Mizelle; niece Ashton Mizelle; her husband, Hunter Copeland; friend Russ Russell; and a special thank-you to Emerson Watford, a former BCS employee who works for the college now and who was the first to greet her following the ceremony.


“I experienced all kinds of emotions for those two days,” said Copeland.


And to top it all off, the President of Barton College caught up with her just as she was getting into her car to come home, and gave her a piece of the actual court that she once played on.


“Of all the years for them to re-do the floor, this year was it,” said Copeland. “It was my year.”


Yes, it was.


Congratulations, Coach Copeland!