Blackman High will surely miss retiring Principal Gail Vick. In every area, especially sports, Gail showed great leadership.
The former player and coach was careful and patient in selecting coaches, and then supportive when she hired someone. She did something almost all effective leaders do – she listened to her staff, did her research and made a solid decision. The success of BHS in just about every area can be traced to Vick’s leadership.
· While the greatest local sports story of 2014 has to be Blackman’s twin basketball championships, what’s the best national story? Auburn football – not in the ‘Boro. The Super Bowl – certainly not! Not Connecticut basketball and not whoever fouls and walks their way to an NBA title this summer. I think, so far at least, the top national story is either a people race or a horse race.
The people race was the Boston Marathon, and it went off without a hitch. In fact, there were a record number of runners and spectators. It appears to me that the terrorists accomplished the opposite of what they intended. Boston and the area the local residents call the Northern Kingdom and it has more spirit than ever, and so does the country. Tragically, life was lost and people were injured in 2013, but evil lost – again!
The horse race was the Kentucky Derby. What a great story. A pair of semi-losers spend $8,000 and eventually end up with the Derby winner California Chrome. They even turned down a $6 million offer recently and now are worth millions. The Preakness and the Belmont and triple crown chances are dead ahead.
· Donald Sterling, owner (for now) of the L.A. Clippers and his racists ranting is way past disgusting and shameful. The punishment was warranted, but as a friend of mine often says, you can’t fix stupid. I would like to point out that former Commissioner David Stern knew all about Sterling years ago but did nothing about his 18th century anti–diversity views, despite ample evidence. Is it possible that a person can be a radical racist as long as they have tons of cash and don’t air their views publicly? You decide.
· A well-known coach told me numerous times before going to Alcoa that going unbeaten for a season in any sport was difficult. You usually have a bad game against a good opponent, bad weather helps your opponent , injuries hurt you and something happens. He’s right, of course, but we had an unbeaten season in Rutherford County a few days ago. Coach Corey Alley and the Christiana boys soccer team were unbeaten in the regular season and swept the tournament. They finished at 13–0. The finals was a hard fought, double overtime 3–2 win over a terrific 11–1 Smyrna team. Christian Shafer had a goal and Jorge Gonzalez had two, including the game winner. The defense of Shafer, goalie Clay Scothern, Brady Stokes and Kyle Scothern was terrific in the closing minutes on defense. Congrats to the Cougars for the first unbeaten team in league history.
· Get ready for Spring Fling and visits from thousands of athletes and fans. A week of fun and games awaits.