I was only five years old when Chester, known as simply as Chet, McGlockton was leading our high school to the North Carolina AA football championship. He wasn’t the only great athlete on that 15-0 Whiteville team, just the greatest of the great.
I was too young in 1987 to remember watching Chet on the field at Legion Stadium. I don’t really recall watching him during his Clemson career and memories of watching him in his prime as a Los Angeles/Oakland Raider escapes me. But I do know how proud the town of Whiteville became of Chet. He was the one who made it. He was the one that every boy who suited up in a Wolfpack uniform on Friday nights wanted to be like — wanted to follow. He was the example.
It is only right that Chet is laid to rest on Wednesday, after passing away on Nov. 30 at the age of 42, in our hometown that gave him so much and where he gave back so much in return.
Every year for as far back at least the late 1990s, Chet helped purchase shoes and uniforms for the basketball team, which at the time was coached by one of his former assistant coaches during his time on the high school grid iron. Eventually when that coach won back-to-back state boys basketball championships, the second set of rings were purchased by Chet.
He also is known for purchasing cleats for the football team.
For years, two Whiteville High seniors are rewarded with the Chester McGlockton Athletic Scholarship. I was honored to be presented as a recipient for the scholarship in 2001 by Chet’s mother, Hazel McGlockton.
I never spoke with Chet on a one-on-one basis. The only time I actually remember being in his presence was around 200o when, along with his family, attended the Family and Friends Day program at my home church in Whiteville, Saint Mark African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He signed autographs for the younger kids after service along with hugging and speaking with former classmates who were also in attendance.
As the state of North Carolina, Columbus County and most importantly the people of our hometown of Whiteville say farewell to Chet at WHS, I’ll say good-bye in this space.
News media videos of the service from Whiteville: