Born in Salisbury, NC, Tripp Roakes grew up playing as many sports as he could from sunrise to sunset. His life was full of playing games in the backyard with the neighborhood kids and when they weren’t around, he would make up games to play on his own. Every game involved keeping stats and playing as hard as possible. Life seemed so easy back them. In a small town like Salisbury, if a child did something positive, they found themselves in the local newspaper, the Salisbury Post. This simple concept became the driving force behind starting the South Charlotte Sports Report in 2006.
After graduating from East Carolina University in 1990, Tripp went to work in the East Carolina University Athletics Department. His love of the Pirates led him to turning down opportunities in the “real” world. After nearly four years working for East Carolina, another one of Tripp’s passions came calling, NASCAR Auto Racing. Growing up in North Carolina, Tripp attended both dirt track and paved races on a regular basis with his father, Charlie, Jr. Tripp became hooked and fell in love with the sport over the years. The chance to work in the NASCAR marketing field with childhood idols like Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Bill Elliott and Junior Johnson won out and Tripp took a chance with a marketing company involved in the sport. A year later, the chance to work directly for a NASCAR team led him to move to Charlotte where he would continue on in the sport for the next 17 years.
With the birth of his son Tyler, Tripp’s perspective on life began to change and a high desire to escape life on the road to be home with this family won out. The idea of the South Charlotte Sports Report popped into his head while driving down Ardrey Kell Road on the way to the Concord Airport to fly to another NASCAR race. Over the next year, Tripp began to form the foundation for the newspaper and on June 5, 2006, the first ever copy of the South Charlotte Sports Report rolled off the presses. Tripp maintained his job in the NASCAR Marketing Industry for the next two years allowing the newspaper to grow and build a foundation before he left the motorsports field behind in 2008.
Since that first newspaper was delivered, the South Charlotte Sports Report has seen enormous growth in all areas involved in youth sports. Tripp now operates the following businesses that all fall under the South Charlotte Sports Report umbrella:
- South Charlotte Sports Photography
- Greater Charlotte Hot Stove League Baseball and Softball Awards Dinner
- Battle of the Border Baseball and Softball Showcase Events
- Over 20 Youth Sports Camps per year
- South Charlotte Sports Winter Baseball Training Academy
- South Charlotte Sports Radio Network
- Greater Charlotte Football Awards Dinner
- South Charlotte Sports Report Middle School Basketball Showcase
- South Charlotte Sports Report Baseball and Softball Skills Day to Fight Childhood Cancer
Through all the growth, the mission has remained the same; to highlight and help Home Town Teams and Home Town Kids that believe in the Student-Athlete Concept. Tripp has been very determined to serve as an advocate for youth that work hard in the classroom and on the field of play. His desire to see youth make good choices in life and succeed in education are at the very forefront of all of his programs.
“These years with the South Charlotte Sports Report have been a lot of fun,” Tripp said. “I have met so many great kids that have grown into outstanding adults that are now realizing the efforts of all their hard work. It’s great to watch these kids succeed in life. I have been very lucky to have met some wonderful partners that have helped me to grow the business along the way and of course none of this would happen without a supportive family. I am very blessed.”
While no one knows what the future holds, the South Charlotte Sports Report hopes to continue to receive the support from the community to continue to operate for the best interest of the children of South Charlotte.
Tripp and his wife Grace reside here in South Charlotte. They are the parents to college students Hannah and Will and Tyler, a 5th grader at Covenant Day School.