Thanks for all the memories over the last 46 years

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016

What a great ride I have had for the past 46 years.

During those years, beginning in April 1970, I have had the honor and pleasure to cover the sports beat for this fine newspaper.

I will always be grateful to the late Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin, his late son Sam Griffin and his dear wife Mary Ann for giving a young man just out of college and with little journalistic experience a job.

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I am also grateful to Jim Boone and Todd Carpenter of Boone Newspapers, publisher Jeff Findley, managing editor Powell Cobb and all the wonderful people at Boone Newspapers for allowing me to continue my journalistic career.

I have had many sports coverage memories, but probably the greatest was covering the 1982 State Class AAA championship football game between coach Ralph Jones’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats and the Gainesville High School Red Elephants in Gainesville.

I remember fullback Scott Carroll, a team captain, running in for a touchdown from five yards out. Kenneth Howard recovered a fumble by Gainesville fullback Sammy Williams at the Gainesville five-yard line to set up the touchdown.

The winning touchdown was set up by a 15 yard pass from quarterback Bobby Walden to split end David Sykes from the Gainesville 32 to the Gainesville 17.

Three players off that 1982 state championship team went on to successful college football careers. Offensive tackle Jimmy Holton went to Georgia, quarterback Bobby Walden went to Auburn and wide receiver Phillip Bryant went to Florida State.

My career also gave me the opportunity to cover two outstanding basketball coaches.

I am talking about former Bearcats basketball head coaches Charles Bess, who was recently inducted into the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame, and Rickey McCullough, who had an outstanding career at Chipley High School in Florida before having an outstanding record at Bainbridge High School and is a member of the Florida Circle of Champions Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

I also had the opportunity to cover many strong Bearcats football teams coached by former Bearcats head coach Sonny Smart father of new University of Georgia Bulldogs head football coach Kirby Smart, who played for his father with the Bearcats.

Since retiring I have been living at Riverside Place and I would like to thank all their wonderful professional management and staff for the many kind and caring things they do for me

This Thursday, August 25, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, the newspaper will be kindly holding a reception for me at the Potter Street Recreation Center.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I am looking forward to greeting many friends and neighbors.