Bless the heart of Bill Redding, who stood up at the public hearing on rezoning lots for parking spaces east of ECU...



D.H. Conley's Robbie O'Neal throws a pitch during their game against J.H. Rose on April 27, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Robbie O’Neal is a dedicated athlete who continues to improve his game by any means necessary. Whether it’s hitting the cages in his free time or playing American Legion baseball with Pitt County Post 39, O’Neal is always grinding to be the best. High School Preps writer Jake Keator caught up with O’Neal to discuss what it means to work for what you want and to become the best.

Q: Robbie, when did you begin playing baseball?

A: I started playing when I was about three or four years old. I was playing with the five-year-olds in the little league and it just grew from there.

Q: You had a pretty good season last year with D.H. Conley. What has it been like playing high school baseball and working to improve?

A: It’s been fun. I’m just going through the process and trying to improve every day, seeing that hard work pays off. It’s ultimately God’s plan and just letting him do his work.

Q: A lot of players would call their baseball season over after their high school season ends, maybe lifting some weights and light workouts. What inspires you to come during your summer to play legion ball, and what do you think that says about you as a player?

A: I think it shows my inner will to be better and to be great. As you said, the off-season is a grind, and coming out here and trying to get better everyday is just what’s in me.

Q: You made the choice in October to sign with UNC-Greensboro. What made you decide that was the best fit for you?

A: The coaching staff really brought me there and the facilities are great. It just feels like home out there. I’m really excited to get to work.

Q: Where are the coaches at UNC-Greensboro going to play you?

A: I’ll probably play catcher and come in to pitch in relief at times.

Q: What’s the best advice you would give to a kid who wants to play college ball or go pro?

A: “I’d tell them to work hard, trust the process and see things before they get there. Keep your head up and keep grinding for what you want in life.”

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

August 05, 2018

The J.H. Rose football program is one known for winning conference championships and other titles alike. 

Rose ended with a 3-8 record in 2017 for a serious downturn from the Rampants’ usual winning ways.

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August 04, 2018

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August 03, 2018

After ending their 2017 season in the dead center of the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference, the Ayden-Grifton Chargers look to improve in 2018 with several key returning pieces.

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August 02, 2018

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August 01, 2018

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July 31, 2018

High school football teams across North Carolina were back in action Monday, as the day marked the first official day of the 2018 football season.

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July 26, 2018

In a game that requires concentration and determination, J.H. Rose senior golfer Carter Rains strives to push himself and his game to its full potential every time he steps in the tee box. Preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Rains between rounds at the Carolina’s Golf Association Boys…

072618-Carter Rains

July 19, 2018

If you’re watching a local baseball game, odds are you’ll see Drew Nichols right up front in the batting order. The talented leadoff batter and defensive specialist is no stranger to the pressure of the game. Preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Nichols about growing up playing baseball…


July 12, 2018

Grant Charles Jarman is a multifaceted athlete with a knack for leading a team. He will take the reigns of the Rampants football team as the starting quarterback this season and be a pivotal piece on the baseball diamond as a senior. High School preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Jarman about his…


July 04, 2018

Standout prep softball pitcher Lexie Vincent has had an interesting road to D.H. Conley High School. Her hard work has paid off, as she has become one of the hardest pitchers for batters to read. High School preps writer Jake Keator talked with Vincent about how she fell in love with softball and…

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