By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Cherokee Transit team represented the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians well at the recent State ROADEO. The team of Christina Goings, Wilson Oocumma and Richie Bottchenbaugh took first place in the Team Van Category at the NCDOT/NCPTA State ROADEO held April 5-7 at Cape Fear Community College in Castle Hayne.
“We’re one of the smallest systems,” said Kathi Littlejohn, Cherokee Transit manager. “So, for them to go down and take first place against some of the biggest systems in the state, I just can’t express how proud I am of them.”
“When they enter, the other systems don’t want them to and that just makes me feel that we are really doing what we’re supposed to be doing and taking all of the training and competitions seriously so that we always keep the passenger safety first in mind, and this just shows it. It just proves it.”
Oocumma, who has worked for Cherokee Transit for seven years, took second place in the individual category as well. “It does take all three of us to do this as a team, not just one person. After we come back, they know that Cherokee has been there. They know Cherokee as a team and that we usually do pretty well.”
Goings, an 11-year Cherokee Transit employee, took third place in the individual category. “We took home three of the four trophies in our category.”
When asked how that felt, she exclaimed, “It felt awesome!”
Bottchenbaugh, who has only worked for Cherokee Transit for the past 11 months, is excited about the results as well as future results. “It’s fun and we plan on going back.”
In the local area competition held earlier, Goings took first place in the individual competition, with Oocumma taking second and Bottchenbaugh third.