President Linda Martin opened up the January 20, 2020 meeting of the Gulf Coast Athletic Club meeting at 7:00pm. She thanked the Club for allowing her to be President for the past two years.
Trivia Night was held in December. The winning team was captained by Taylor Means who evidently surrounded himself with really smart people. A new continuing trophy was displayed for the first time.
President Linda introduced her hard-working Board of Directors and thanked them for their service. She also thanked Taylor for his work with our Speakers.
George Autrey took the podium and announced that fourth year of the Pigskin Prognosticator Contest was now in the books. Taking the crown away from last year’s winner, Cynthia Tunnell, was Bulldog Billy, Bill Broyles, with a winning percentage of 59.3%, 0.1% over second place finisher, 87Bama. Previous winners were Bill Tunnell in 2016, Fred Dickinson in 2017, and Cynthia Tunnell in 2018. Of course, the previous winners noted they had 15 games per week as opposed to the 10 weekly games in 2019.
Coach Matt Blake of the Gulf Shores High School Dolphins said the Bowling Team is going to State, led by Coach Owen Corcoran. Indoor track has 11 qualified for State. Wrestling took second in the region. He also introduced two new Head Coaches with him at the meeting.
Taylor Means also presented Coach Blake and Coach Jackson a check for $2,500 to go towards a new $10,000 batting cage at GSHS.
Dr. Gaylon McCollough talked about his favorite part of the meetings, the significance of the Club’s Scholarship Award program for two outstanding GSHS students, awarded annually at school year end. The scholarships are typically $2,500 to $5,000 depending on the success of the GCAC fundraising events, Trivia Nights and a major springtime Golf Tournament chaired by Fred Dickinson.
This month’s female honoree is Grace Lawrence. She has a 4.2 GPA and is in the dual enrollment program, earning college credits in high school. She is on the tennis and bowling teams and is 5th in the Region. She is a member of the National Honor Society and went to Girls State. She has chosen the University of Alabama for studies in Political Science with an eye on Law School. She thanked GCAC, her parents, and coaches.
Jackson Carey is our monthly male honoree. Jackson is in Honors classes and dual enrollment. He has a 31 on his ACT and a 4.2 GPA. He plays three sports with four letters in football, wrestling with three letters, and does two events in track, running the 440. He will go to the University of Alabama, major in Business Administration, and wants to be a personal trainer. Thanks to Parents and Coaches!
Dr. McCollough also gave a tip of the cap to GS School Board President Kevin Corcoran and the most excellent Gulf Shores City School System, noting the System is on its way to a great future. He urged all to participate in our events and raise more for GSHS scholarship opportunities.
Fred Dickinson stated this year’s GCAC Golf Tournament will be May 8th. More info later.
Kevin Corcoran said the Dolphin Athletic Club’s annual Drawdown will be February 1st at the Hangout. 24 sports are supported by the DAC. It’s a chance to win $7,500 for a $100 investment.
Dec McCelland handled the Team Reports and Crying Towel starting with a “Go, LSU”. He ended with the Crying Towel going to Auburn for losing to Minnesota 31-24 in the Blooming Onion Outback Bowl. John Boller was gracious in his acceptance.
George Autrey gets double duty tonight as he introduced Jody Wright, recently with the Cleveland Browns, but sadly not retained by the Browns when they fired Coach Freddie Kitchens. Jody grew up in Carrollton where he played for his Dad and was a two time All State running back. He went to Jacksonville State but knee injuries got him.
He coached at Mississippi State under Sylvester Croom and Dan Mullen form 2010-2012., went to the University of Alabama where he worked in Player Personnel for Coach Saban, who he cannot thank enough for the opportunity. He was hired as an Offensive Assistant for the Browns. Commenting that Coaches and First Responders should be making millions, he talked about growing up and his family, as being a Coach’s son was a great experience.
After blowing out his knee, he was hired as a Graduate Assistant by Coach Croom, then coached at UAB twice, UA, and the NFL. In Q & A, Wright said, under Coach Saban at UA, he was the Director of Player Personnel, which deals with recruit evaluations and ratings. Essentially he chose the players for Coach Saban and the staff to evaluate and then recruit. (Editor’s Note: Must have done a pretty good job). He gave a detailed description of that process. He commented that they preferred players with multiple sport experience for muscle development. He told some Derrick Henry stories and concluded that San Francisco should rush the ball to win the upcoming Super Bowl, but he believes Kansas City will win due to Quarterback arm strength.
The 50/50 was drawn and awarded to Tom Giles. Adjournment was at 8:26pm.
By: Bill Tunnell