My longtime friend and former colleague Steve Huffman has been a recent contributor to the Times-News. It’s great to have him back.
Steve Huffman in his column photo from the Times-News in the early 1990s. He hasn't changed too much. Like me, he has a little more gray hair.
Steve, a Burlington native, just sent us a cool feature on the trials and tribulations of the first football team in Cummings High School history. That happened back in 1972. Steve remembered because he grew up in the Cummings district and eventually went to school there a couple of years later. Ultimately, his brothers Ron and Eddie became Cavaliers. Ron was an excellent pitcher who went on to play baseball at UNC. And, of course, anyone who’s followed Cummings athletics over the years remembers Steve’s dad the late Dick Huffman, who handled stadium and gym announcing duties for 27 years and was the de facto voice of the Cavaliers for more than two decades. He also gave a young sportswriter a few breaks back in the 1980s.
I had the great fortune to become a friend of the Huffman family and worked in newspapers with Steve and Eddie. Both are among the most talented writers I’ve ever known. Both spent some time here with the Times-News. I learned a lot from them. Still do. Eddie, by the way, is working part time for the Greensboro News and Record and handling freelance gigs. He writes about music as well or better than anyone I know.
Steve has covered a little bit of everything in his career and simply loves to write. He’s worked for newspapers in Madison, Winston-Salem, High Point, Salisbury and Lexington. Along the way, he became a fixture at the annual North Carolina Press Association awards ceremony. When I moved to the coast in 1992, I counted on seeing Steve in Chapel Hill at least once a year.
Lately, he’s worked as a free-lance writer while living in a secluded spot in the woods outside Elon. When he’s not renovating something on the property, he’s finding stories or filing columns for many different publications. Luckily, he’s finding time to do a few for us. We are fortunate, indeed.
From where I sit, it’s a godsend. It’s great to have a reporter in the neighborhood with years of local knowledge of his hometown. Here’s hoping we see more of Steve in the future.
By the way, Steve’s Cummings story jogged my mind enough to write a small editorial about it in Wednesday’s Times-News. The humble beginnings of the now mighty Cavs football program provides a good lesson for all.