WWAY's John Rendleman is always trying to find interesting stories. Tonight he has one from Tabor City: a woman who's been keeping the score at basketball games forever. Well, not quite forever, but 53 years is a pretty long time.
She has the best seat in the house, and over the course of 53 years Everlene Davis has missed just five basketball games. In fact the scorer's table at South Columbus High School bears her name.
"Very seldom do I move from the table," she said. "They give me M&M's to eat. I very seldom drink water or soda. Every now and then I'll drink a cup of water during the last quarter of the boys game, because they tell me I don't have time to go to the restroom."
Davis keeps the official scorebook for the JV girls, the JV boys, the varsity girls and varsity boys. That's four games a night. Sometimes it's three nights a week. She doesn't know how many games she's attended over the years, but it's definitely more han 5,000.
Davis first kept score at old Douglas High School in Tabor City.
"Douglas was an all-black school," she said. "I worked there until 1969. That's when the schools integrated. That's when I went to Tabor City High School to work there. From Tabor City I came here."
Here meaning South Columbus. That's 53 of scorekeeping and 54 years of teaching.
"Nobody can touch that," South Columbus JV girls basketball coach Lisa Clemons said. "She's the best there is. Even when we have tournaments, like holiday tournaments, they ask her to keep the books. She's pretty accurate, yes she is, but she does keep an eraser just in case. She has her red pen, black pen, blue pen and pencil."
"Once you do something long enough, it becomes a part of your life," South Columbus Athletics Director Jake Fonvielle. "It's kinda like Brett Favre in football. It's hard to give it up. I really think she enjoys being at the basketball games and being such a big part of it."
Davis even rides with the team on road trips. If a player misbehaves, she's the first to set 'em straight. The obvious question is will she do it for a 54th season?
"I haven't decided," she said. "They normally don't give me a chance to decide. They just hand me the book and say, 'Go at it.' So I just follow their instructions and move on.."
Davis is a vocational education teacher at South Columbus. She volunteers her time for her basketball duties. She even calls WWAY with the score after every South Columbus game.