Ever have one of those days where you really need some good news?
Well … that was me Saturday. It was an crazy fall weekend and as usual I probably took on a little more than I should have.
When a short text message popped into my phone at 3:59 p.m. I had to scramble to find my phone, which was buried under a mound of paperwork from football games, swim meets and copies of multiple editions of The Advocate.
But I am so glad I did. The text from St. Joseph’s Academy softball coach Billy Stears provided the news the softball community in Baton Rouge has been hoping for.
“Ck Facebook out I just got heart transplant.”
When I did a column on Stears in April, he was still making his way to the ballpark for many games despite heart-related issues. First there was triple-bypass surgery.
Stears was not considered to be a heart transplant candidate in the spring. Thankfully, that changed. A more detailed update will follow in the days ahead.
Given the news of the past week, including the death of Franklin Parish football player Tyrell Cameron and the bizarre case of two high school football players in Texas who hit an official during a game Sept. 4, good news is definitely a good thing.
The outpouring of support for Franklin Parish High and Winnsboro community has been amazing. The tribute orchestrated by Wossman High before Thursday’s game with FPHS is notable.
Of course, everyone has read the sordid saga that has unfolded in San Antonio after two players from John Jay High hit an official during the fourth quarter of their game. An assistant coach has been suspended and that the official directed racial slurs toward the players added another unsavory layer to the story.
I love happy endings, especially for those I write about. The news about Billy Stears offers just that.
The Central coaching staff collaborated on a benefit that culminated with coach Sid Edwards’ weekly radio show at the Coaches Grill last week.
Four coaches on the Wildcats staff got the opportunity to earn some additional money in their summer stipend. That’s when assistant coach Frank Fresina said a plan was born. The four coaches opted to use the added stipend to give back to the Central community. Others, including Edwards, donated.
Several individuals, including a school custodian, the mother of four former CHS players, a fan and a recent Central graduate who lost both her parents in the span of a year received donations. A donation to defray medical expenses for Briggs Elliser, great grandson of legendary Central basketball coach Charles Kinsley, also was included.
A pretty cool gesture, I’d say.
Weekly leaders sought
The Advocate and other publications across the state will begin compiling statewide football leaders this week.
Baton Rouge area schools are asked to submit their leaders by clicking on the following link: weeklystatistics.theadvocate.com/. Include two-game totals and top individual performers from the first two weeks.