The purpose of the GREYHOUND SPOTLIGHT is to recognize a fellow greyhound from the Past (1950-1979); Present (1980-1999); and/or the Future (2000-present).
These notable greyhounds embody the teachings of Israel Charles Norcom. Mr. Norcom was described as a pioneer, educator, leader of his people, churchman, civic leader, businessman, fraternalist, guidance counselor, and an outstanding citizen. The individuals selected, reflect some or all of these qualities Mr. Norcom personified. Check back monthly to see who we will spotlight next!
Jeneane Peele Long is a native of Portsmouth Virginia, where she grew up in the Mount Hermon section of the city. She has one brother, Tavaris Peele who she has always looked up to and got her competitive spirit from by always trying to beat him in anything they played. She was raised by her strong supportive mother Anita Peele, who worked hard to provide her family everything that they needed in life including strong values and beliefs. Jeneane was fortunate to have the support of her grandparents Mrs. Flossie Banks and Mr. Joseph Wiggins who played a pivotal part in her life. Growing up in Mount Hermon as a kid the sound of Norcom’s band practicing their music from a distance would always excite Jeneane. She and her friends would march in her grandparents front yard pretending like they were in the band, she couldn’t wait until she was able to join the marching greyhound band. Jeneane learned how to play the clarinet while in middle school, this prepared her to be able to try out for Norcom’s marching band when the time came. While attending I.C. Norcom, Jeneane was an active member of the Marching 100. She played the clarinet during her first 3 years, then joined the front section as a flag girl during her senior year. She also displayed her athleticism as a point guard for Norcom’s varsity basketball team under Coach Henry Broady. Upon graduation, Jeneane attended Norfolk State University and earned her B.S. degree in Human Resource Management. Thereafter, she obtained a M.S. degree in Education while working at the Pine’s Residential Treatment Center as a counselor to children with emotional and psychological needs. After obtaining her M.S. degree Jeneane began working as a Special Education teacher for Portsmouth Public Schools at Woodrow Wilson High School. After 5 years of dedicated service to PPS, she went on to teach at Rosemont Middle School and Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk. She spent her last 6 years in Norfolk at Norview Middle School as the Special Education Department Chairperson. She currently is a teacher in Chesapeake. Because of her compassion to teach, Jeneane has been a constant fixture as an educator for 26 years and she still doesn’t hesitate to go above and beyond for her students. Jenane is not only an educator, she is a coach, and business owner. She is currently the girl’s tennis coach at her beloved alma mater where she made history when her team had their first winning season in over 18 years. She is also the girls swim coach. She never gives up on her player’s even those who have picked up the sport for the first time. She encourages them to push for success, practice and instill the importance of putting in hard work to reap the reward of success. Jeneane volunteers and mentors at-risk female and male youth throughout the Tidewater region. She provides free tennis instructions to children and teenagers in Portsmouth during the summer months. Jeneane enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and trying food from different cultures. Her beautiful smile and witty sense of humor attracts all that come in contact with her.
John Wiley Alexander Baker, Jr.was born on the 15th day of August 1942 in Suffolk, VA to John Baker, Sr. and Amanda Marie Rodgers Baker. He is the oldest of four siblings: Jenson Baker, James Baker and Joyce Baker Montgomery (ICN ’65).
His primary education was completed in Suffolk, VA and Portsmouth, VA. During his childhood after school days and weekends were spent playing recreational football and baseball at Truxton Field. He enjoyed learning the fundamentals of football and baseball coached by Coach William Ray, Sr. He enrolled in I. C. Norcom High School, Portsmouth, VA in 1956. After a few years, he was spotted by Coach Bob Smith and Coach Horace Savage sitting in their classes looking tall and strong and was asked if he wanted to play sports for the I.C. Norcom Greyhounds. He only played his senior year and lettered in three sports: football, basketball and baseball. He graduated in the June 1960 class of I. C. Norc
John continued his education at Norfolk State University (formerly, Norfolk Division of Virginia State College) in Norfolk, Virginia. He also continued to play football and basketball in college. Coach William Archie, the head football coach, recruited him to play for the Spartans. He lettered two years in football and was an All-CIAA performer as a defensive lineman in 1963. John was selected in the 19th round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers, making him the first NSU player to be drafted by an NFL team. Also, he was the first NSU athlete to ever play professionally, with stints with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League from 1964-69 in which he was on the 1965 and 1967 CFL All Star teams, the New York Giants of the NFL from 1970-71, the Hamilton Tiger Cats from 1972-73 and the Birmingham Americans, World Football League Champions in 1974.
In 1964, John also became the first student athlete from I. C. Norcom High School to be drafted by the NFL and the first Norcom athlete to play professional football..
In 1966, John was awarded a B.S. degree in physical education from Norfolk State University and earned a Master’s Degree in 1989 from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI in counseling. Education helped him immensely in teaching, coaching and counseling. John taught in the Detroit Public Schools and Montreal, Canada for nearly 30 years. He coached high school football for four years and one year at North Carolina A&T University. He coached youth basketball and assisted with the Broncos Little League in Detroit, MI. and the Westside Cubs-Tiny Mites, coaching with his son. In Florida, he was an assistant coach of the Sharks, an AAU football team. In 2016, he coached the Crystal River Bulls football team that finished third in the Florida state regional for ages 10 to 11.
The game of football gave John some priceless life lessons on hard work, discipline, teamwork, and grit. There were many coaches that were mentors throughout his life that helped to mold him: William Archie, Joe Echols, Ralph Goldston, Vince Lombardi, William Ray, Sr., Horace Savage, and Bob Smith.
In 2004, John was an inductee into the NSUAF (Norfolk State University Athletics Foundation) Sports Hall of Fame and in 2015 an inductee into the HRAASHF (Hampton Roads Athletics Association Sports Hall of Fame).
John is the devoted husband of the former Ellen P. Gay and father of two adult children: John Baker, III (Brandie) of Detroit, MI and Lisa Heiskell-Tompkins (Solomon) of Chicago, IL. He is a proud and doting grandfather of Ryan Heiskell and John Baker, IV.
Now retired, John lives with his wife in Homosassa, FL and enjoys traveling, golfing, gardening and fishing. He also enjoys working with young children through the Academic Anglers, a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Charlie Roberts and John. The organization stresses the importance of education and the skills, techniques and enjoyment of fishing as a leisure time activity.
My name is Devonte J. Melton. I am a 17 year old Senior at I. C. Norcom High School in the city of Portsmouth, VA. As a member of Norcom High School, I have been very active. In addition to the Advance Chorus, I am also a member of the marching band, soccer team, baseball team, and drama club. I am an honor roll student as well. When I was a freshman in high school, I won the I.C. Norcom talent contest. During the Homecoming game and senior night last year, I also had the opportunity to sing the National Anthem.
I am a member of St Mark Missionary Baptist Church, where Dr. Dwight Riddick is the pastor. I am an active member of St. Mark's Youth church, Youth ushers, Youth choir, and volunteer at the Edmonds Center banquet facilities.
As an active member of my community, I am a member of the Sankofa Cultural and Learning Center, Youth Leadership Development Program, and the Saturday Academy for Positive Self-Development. As a result of working with these organizations, I have been inspired to participate in the voting process where I have worked the polls for candidates. During my time in Sankofa, I was given the opportunity to travel to several African American historical places. This made me aware of those who have paved the way for us to enjoy the freedoms we now enjoy.
As a result of my passion for music, I have been able to participate in the NAACP ACT-SO program, where I was awarded the Bronze award. Additionally, I have been able to sing on the radio numerous times.
It has been such an honor and privilege to be a part of one of the last historically black high schools in this country. This has instilled a sense of history into me.
After graduation, I plan to attend college and major in music and nursing. I enjoy singing, cooking, and playing video games.
Isaiah 40:31 is one of my favorite scriptures "But to those who wait upon the Lord, his strength will be renewed. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”