The Gulf Coast Athletic Club started its 2017-2018 season on August 28, 2017. President David Lee opened the meeting and thanked all attendees for their interest and attendance. He noted it had been 215 days since the Alabama – Clemson National Championship game.
David reminded the attendees of the fun fund-raiser for the club. The On-line Football Pool is a weekly opportunity for all amateur prognosticators to show their stuff by picking winners from a 15 game weekly lineup selected by Professor Lee. Entry is $25 for the year and the year-end leader will split the annual pot and take home a beautiful trophy. This year’s reigning Prognosticator of the Year is Battleship60, Bill Tunnell. All members will be sent an email with the link to join the GCAC contest.
President Lee told the audience of GCAC’s mission to celebrate college football and raise money for the Gulf Shores High School Athletic Department and for student athlete scholarships. The main sources of fundraising are an annual golf tournament and donations to the Gulf Coast Athletic Club Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. He thanked Fred Dickinson and John McCormick and all the volunteers who put on this year’s successful golf tournament.
Prior to calling GSHS Assistant Principal Mark Glassford to the podium, David announced that the Club had approved presenting a check for $2,520 to cover uniform expenses for two GSMS basketball teams. This made a total of more than $40,000 donated by GCAC in the last three years and more than $150,000 since the club’s beginning in 1998.
Assistant Principal Glassford remarked that, due to the Club’s unwavering support over the years since the creation of GSHS Athletics, GCAC will be included as part of the first class being inducted into the Gulf Shores Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be at the Dolphins’ first game on Friday, September 1st. Congratulations to all members past and present. President David Lee will accept for the club. All members are invited to attend.
President Lee introduced Ron Baynes, an Auburn graduate who played football, after turning down a pro baseball offer, for four years against our own Dr. Gaylon McCullough. He played in the 1965 Blue-Gray Game, was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but had his career cut short by injury.
A high school coach and administrator, Ronnie then went into college officiating for 13 years, then served 14 years as a Line Judge in the NFL, officiating in two Super Bowls. He showed a great video that depicted an average day at an NFL game as an official.
“I’ve been very blessed,” said the member of the Alabama Baseball Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He went on to tell of how officials were chosen to be in the NFL and talked about his later career of training officials for the SEC.
He said his main concerns for the sport are twofold: 1) kids spending too much time on just one sport, and; 2) it’s too expensive to play these sports, although he believes all should play tough team sports.
After thanking the club for what it does, Mr. Baynes received a well-deserved standing ovation.
After the 50/50 drawing was held, the meeting adjourned at 8:33pm.
By: Bill Tunnell