Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Todd Yoder…
- Tributes to the late Lipscomb University basketball coach Don Meyer continue to come in.
Marcus Bodie was a defensive shut-down guard for Meyer. He currently is a training instructor for the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department. It’s no surprise so many of Meyer’s players became coaches and teachers.
“Don Meyer was a great person with an eye for great potential,’’ Bodie wrote in an e-mail. “In many ways, I have taken on some of Coach Meyer’s persona as a coach and as a person. He was a great coach, counselor, friend, mentor and most of all, a spiritual advisor to me.
“Coach Meyer talked about preparation on many accounts in areas of practice, life, choices and the afterlife. He was ready and prepared for this transition. I will miss that bald headed guy, with that one eye glaring at you, yelling out instructions with the anticipation of you accomplishing the request that was made. … Coach Meyer’s spirit will continue to live in my heart and soul. He was, and will continue to be, my college basketball coach who has prepared me for what is to become.’’
I see a lot of Meyer in Bodie’s teaching methods at the Sheriff’s department. He knows how to mix humor in with the serious parts of his presentations, just as Coach did.
- The Tennessean and Nashville lost sports writer Jeff Lockridge, a writer who grew up in Nashville, graduated from Overton High where he was a starting guard for Coach Tommy Griffith. Jeff never let the fact he was born without a left hand hold him back. He hit the game-winning jump shot against Whites Creek in a tournament game. Jeff was a straight-A student at Overton.
He became a basketball manager for Austin Peay Coach Dave Loos and continued to carry an A-average. I think he slipped and graduated with a 3.73 GPA at Peay.
When he graduated, I hired him at the Nashville Banner. Six months later, he got engaged to his wife, Leslie. The next day, it was announced the Banner would close at the end of the week and we were all out of a job. He worked for two newspapers after that before former Tennessean sports editor Ted Power hired him away from the Birmingham afternoon paper to lead the prep coverage for an expanding Williamson AM.
Most recently he has been the Vanderbilt beat writer for five years and did a super job on a difficult beat.
Jeff’s wife has taken a job with the VA hospital in Phoenix, and he has stayed behind with Cole 11, Kyle nine, and two cats. They will make the drive to Phoenix next month. He isn’t sure if he will continue working for newspapers or try something else. I have no doubt he will continue to shine.
I knew months ago he was leaving the Tennessean, but promised I would not write it until he made it public. That’s one scoop I didn’t mind losing.
- Most people would love to visit the White House and meet the president. Not Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch.
He stayed home while his teammates visited the president’s home.
“No particular reason was given to me,’’ Lynch’s mother told the Seattle Times. “He just said he didn’t want to go.’’
President Obama made light of his absence and his ability to avoid the media.
“I am sorry that Marshawn’s not here, because I just want to say how much I admire his approach to the press. I wanted to get some tips from him,’’ Obama quipped.
- Congratulations to the 53 fourth graders at Franklin’s Moore Elementary who recently completed a 22-year tradition of making a 28-mile hike through the historic Natchez Trace in Williamson County.
It was a two-day event, led by faculty and parent chaperones after the students had completed an 8-week training program. The Walk to Wellness program was a passion for physical education teachers John Parks, Kathy Clark and Tiffany Carlton.
“This is a life-changing event for most students and one that they look forward to throughout their experience at Moore Elementary,’’ Parks said.
- We celebrate Memorial Day Monday, we honor all who served their country, especially those who gave their lives.
Don Steinbrunner was one who gave it all. He was a tackle for Washington State and a sixth round draft choice for the Cleveland Browns. According to authors of “When Football Went to War,’’ Todd Anton and Bill Nowlin, Steinbrunner enrolled in the ROTC program and was called to active duty after his rookie season in 1953. He played in eight games for the 1953 Browns, who finished 11-1.
After his two years of service as a navigator, Steinbrunner decided to make the Air Force his career. In 1961, he became an assistant football coach at the Air Force Academy. He remained in that position until he was sent to Vietnam in 1966.
Steinbrunner was killed in action after being shot down over Kontum, South Vietnam, near Pleiku Air Base on July 20,1967. He was a navigator on a C-123. All five crewmen were killed. Steinbrunner was 35.
Remember him and others who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
- Quarterback Johnny Manziel has not taken a snap for the Cleveland Browns, but that hasn’t slowed down Manziel-mania.
Wally Waffle in Akron already has the Johnny Cleveland waffle on its menu. It’s a Belgian waffle, with chocolate chips, chocolate drizzle and whipped cream.
- A must read is ‘Still No Cheering in the Press Box’: Jim Murray, Pulitzer Prize Winner. It is on The Post Game website and written by Ella Powers.
I consider the late Los Angeles Times columnist the most entertaining of his generation.
One of hundreds of his one-liners took on his adopted hometown, Los Angeles.
“It is a place that has a dry river but 100,000 swimming pools. It’s a place where you get 100 days for murder but six months for whipping your dog.’’
- Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron met Starla Chapman on Christmas Eve, 2011, just weeks before the national championship against LSU. She was a patient at University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital, and had been diagnosed with leukemia.
She gave McCarron a yellow wristband that said Just Trust. He wore it when the Tide blanked LSU, 21-0.
Fast forward to now. Chapman overcame the disease and on July 11, the five-year old survivor will serve as the flower girl at McCarron’s wedding to model Katherine Webb.
- Clash of the Titans is a charity basketball game Thursday at Battle Ground Academy. It features former Titans against current players.
Information is on ClashoftheTitansTN.com.
Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at firstname.lastname@example.org.