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Rose affected by Jarman’s absence

Sun.| 2-18-24 | SPORTS

     Through the eyes of locals, Marvin Jarman is the friendly face of sports in Greenville. However, since mid-January, Marvin’s usual chair on the basketball court has been mostly empty, occupied only by a clipboard.

     Recently, Marvin Jarman was hospitalized due to a heart condition, which has caused him to miss Rose basketball games, along with pre-season baseball workouts. His absence sparked concerns throughout Rose athletics and has affected both teams in a couple of ways.

     Before his hospitalization, Marvin had an impressive record of attending over 1,300 consecutive Rose Varsity basketball games, dating all the way back to 1966. His absence means the end of this streak, but it hasn’t dulled the basketball team’s spark. In fact, it has lit a fire.

     “They’re playing for him,” Varsity boys basketball coach James Rankins said. “The first game we didn’t know what was up, we thought it would maybe be a one-day thing; [the team] asked ‘Where’s Marvin?’ so we told them that he was under the weather and he would be back.”

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Photo by Owen Simmons

     Additionally, Marvin also helped with coaching Rose baseball and football, showing his dedication towards the Rampants, hoping to make a difference on the field and in the locker room. But this is not the only way Marvin showed his dedication to Rose; even though he may not serve as a coach to other sports Rose participates in, he still serves a major role by regularly attending sporting events, representing the face of Rose Athletics. 

     “If you have to say what Rose Athletics is all about, you’ll say Rose Athletics is having a guy like Marvin because he’s for the whole community,” Rankins said. “He’s for every sport, every team, it’s just great to have him out there…even with the main sports he coaches, he goes to swim matches, he goes to volleyball games, he goes to soccer games…all of athletics will miss Marvin.”

     Since Marvin attended and worked with all these young athletes, this allowed him to build strong relationships with them, including some he first met and coached through Greenville Little League Baseball. This allowed him to serve as a role model for many Rampant athletes, but also those throughout the community. 

     When it comes to Rose baseball, Marvin played a big part in the team's success. Marvin has always been the right-hand man to baseball manager Ronald Vincent for decades and has always had a close relationship with the boys on the team. For the past month, there has been a void felt across the board.

     “He’s somebody to rally behind,” senior pitcher Andrew Wallen said. “He’s always in the dugout, always at practice…we’re not just the Rampants, it’s Marvin too…he’s like our rock.” 

     Not only did Marvin serve as an outlet of confidence for the baseball team, he also helped with serving as an umpire at practices. Before the news of his passing, the team was hopeful for his recovery, motivating them to work harder and join together to make Marvin proud. 

     “[His absence] has definitely united us,” Wallen said. “It kind of gives us a focal point; we all wish he gets better, we all wish he is gonna be out there by our first game, and just hoping he starts to feel better.” 

     With all of the impacts Marvin Jarman has made on Rose and the athletics program, he will always be part of the fabric of the Pitt County community. Whether you saw him walking around, or at Elm Street baseball games, his impact can also be seen throughout Greenville, as he enjoyed being a part of the sports community. Fans, friends and family find it hard to imagine continuing on to future seasons without his constant support. 

     “When you think about Marvin Jarman, you think about him being a coach, second thing is that he loves kids, and never forgets them when they become adults…he just loves people,” Rankins said. 

     Sadly, Marvin passed away early Sunday morning, Feb. 18, leaving the entire community heartbroken. With that being said, Marvin’s legacy will live on forever, through not only the players, but leaving a permanent imprint on the Rose and Greenville community. He now has the best seat of them all at every sporting event and will never have to miss another game.

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