The world lost a couple of legends this past weekend with the passing of Arnold Palmer and Jean Shepard. You don’t have to be a golf fan or even follow sports to recognize the name Arnold Palmer. Arnie was not only one of the greatest golfers to ever hit the links, but everyone who knew him and commented on his life and his career made mention of the fact that he was a true gentleman, both on and off the course.
Jean Shepard is probably less-known by the under 50 population, but for Medicare recipients, she is recognized as a pioneer in the country music field. One of the first women to really make it big in the country entertainment world, she was only the third woman to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry after Minnie Pearl and Kitty Wells, and performed there for over 60 years.
Arnold Palmer died Sunday at the age of 87. Jean Shepard died Sunday at the age of 82.
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This football fan wants to make just a simple statement about last Friday night’s big-numbers win over Houston. To some it would appear that Ava ran the score up on a weaker opponent, and truly, it does take some doing to score 70 points in a football game.
However, when you look at the big picture there is justification.
First of all, in the game of football you can’t take anything for granted. Example: the Ava-Mtn. View-Liberty game three weeks ago. Ava entered the game as the underdog and gave up 28 unanswered points in the first half. Ava was down 28-0 at halftime and it looked like the game was over.
Then, Ava came out in the second half with a new determination and dominated the second half, outscoring the Eagles 20-0 and only came up one touchdown short of a tie game.
Point: you can’t pull your starters too soon and let the other team get the momentum.
Also, take a look at how the Ava touchdowns were scored – runs of 78 yards, 52 yards, a kickoff return of 86 yards, a punt return for 94 yards. You can’t ask these guys to stop and lay down, or run out of bounds when they have an open field. And, when the time comes to put the JV in the game, it’s not quite fair to tell them to run some plays but to not score. These guys walk the sideline night after night and rarely see varsity action. When their time comes, they want to make a good showing the same as anyone else – maybe more so.
So, yes, a 70-22 decision looks really lopsided. It is lopsided. But the same thing happens in baseball. There are nights when the batters hit the ball hard but at somebody. There are other games when it seems the ball has eyes and every batted ball finds a hole.
I’ve watched a lot of Ava High School football games – most of them from the sideline of the Ava bench – and I can honestly say that, with few exceptions, Ava has always had one of the most ethical and respected coaching staffs in the area.
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The Calvarymen Quartet had their homecoming concert last Saturday night at Hartville and with the date moved from the first weekend in September we were actually able to attend. For years the event was held on the same night as the championship show of the MFTHBA Show and Celebration in Ava, which made it nearly impossible for the newspaper guy to attend.
Guests of the Calvarymen this year were the New Horizons, of Lebanon, a group we have known for 50 years, and Jay Parrack and Vocal Event. For a Southern Gospel Junkie like myself, it was a super night. Thanks, guys, for another fantastic concert.