Tidbits -August 12, 2021

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY

FAREWELL TOUR
  Saluda County Recreation Director Paul Ergle tendered his resignation this summer, and, boy, did he go out in style.
  His Rec teams sent three teams to their state tournaments, and two their respective World Series.
  Trips to the state tournament have happened, rarely, in the 60 years of youth baseball in Saluda County, but World Series appearances have never happened. In Paul’s final year, it happened twice.
  As I stated last week, the 10u Angels Softball team finished third in their World Series in Moncks Corner. In this tournament were Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and the host team.
  When I wrote my column last week, Saluda’s Minor League All-Stars had already won two games in their World Series in Laurel, Mississippi.
  This tournament had an even bigger field, including Florida, Mississippi, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and runners-up from Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina (Saluda) and the local team.
  Of course, we all  know now, Saluda made it to the finals, before falling to North Carolina, 7-3, in the championship game. Finishing second in a 12-team World Series is quite an accomplishment.
  Like the recent Saluda High state championship teams, fans will be talking about our World Series teams for years to come.
  After the Laurel tournament was over, Paul posted on Facebook, his farewell tour was over. His trip included stops in Saluda for two District tournaments, Johnsonville, Union, Clemson, Moncks Corner in this state, and Laurel, Mississippi.
  What a way to go out! Good job, Paul.


BOBBY BOWDEN
  College football lost a legend when Bobby Bowden died over the weekend.
  He put Florida State on the map, and he was admired for his faith and his humor.
  My brother Jamie and I were talking last week. We were discussing if Bobby was an assistant to Jim Carlen, or Jim an assistant to Bobby at West Virginia.
  Of course, Carlen ended up as Carolina’s head football coach.
  In 1969, Carlen resigned from West Virginia to take the head coaching job at Texas Tech. He was succeeded by his ASSISTANT Bobby Bowden, who coached the Mountaineers until 1975, when he left to go to Florida State.
  What kind of man was Bobby Bowden? Read this from Wikipedia:
  “During Bowden's first year as head coach at WVU, the football team of the state's other top-division school, Marshall University, was killed in a plane crash. He asked NCAA permission to wear Marshall jerseys and play Marshall's final game of the 1970 season against Ohio, but was denied. In memory of the victims of the crash, Mountaineers players put green crosses and the initials "MU" on their helmets. Bowden allowed Marshall's new head coach Jack Lengyel and his assistants access to game film and playbooks to acquaint themselves with the veer offense, a variation of the option offense which aids teams with weak offensive lines. Lengyel credits Bowden with helping the young Thundering Herd recover. Bowden reportedly became emotional while viewing the movie “We Are Marshall,” and has said that he was the original candidate for the Marshall head coaching job filled by crash victim Rick Tolley.”
  That speaks volumes.
  Both Dabo Swinney and Shane Beamer spoke of their admiration of Bowden.
  Dabo got to know him when he joined the staff of Bobby’s son Tommy at Clemson.
  Beamer said when he decided to go into coaching, he wrote letters to hundreds of college coaches, seeking advise. Few responded, but Beamer said Coach Bowden responded every time.
  The success of former assistants Bowden and Swinney prove assistants can turn into outstanding head coaches. Hopefully, Beamer will follow their path.
  I’ll conclude this with a Bowden quote, “Your reputation is what people say about you. Your character is what God knows about you.”


BE CAREFUL
  We didn’t have church at Emory Sunday,  because several of our members have contracted Covid.
  I was hoping we were over this. We had removed our tape separating the pews, we had stopped wearing masks, and we were having congregational singing again.
  Are we going back to last year? I hope not.
  I’m fully vaccinated, as is most of my family. We can’t visit my mother at SNC unless we are  fully vaccinated.
  I have been vaccinated since March, and have had no problems. I’m not worried about being tracked by some inserted microchip. My phone serves that purpose.
  I know vaccinations have been made a political thing, but in his speech over the weekend former President Trump urged everyone to get vaccinated. He fast tracked the vaccine and has been vacinnated, so why make this political?
  I don’t care about your political affiliation, I just don’t want you to get sick, and possibly die.
  The only way we can end this is by people getting vaccinated.
  That’s how we ended polio, that’s how we ended smallpox. Let’s end this, now.