Harold “Warty” Warren was one of the best athletes to ever come through Alexandria High School and Calhoun County and northeast Alabama.
Put a ball out there or cinders under his track shoes, and Warty was the star, even unto being a high school All-America in football, a rarified honor few attain.
That was the athlete.
As a sports writer for this newspaper, I covered quite a few of his games ... football, basketball, track. In more games than one can count, he was the difference for the Valley Cubs in the late 1950s.
But that wasn’t what first came to mind when I heard Thursday of his death.
What came to mind was all those years he “paid back” to the Valley in his work with and for the kids in the community. He was as much of a giant there as in his glory years as an athlete.
I came to respect ‘Warty’ as a man as much as I had admired him as an athlete. I can’t give you a measure, but it’s a bunch ...
We were better for him being here.
IF THERE’S a nicer high school baseball stadium in this part of the country than the one at Piedmont, send me a picture of it.
The next time you are on the bypass in front of the high school, slow down and take a look. In a sport that ranks no better than third behind football and basketball, the Piedmont facility is a stunner.
Fact is, the entire school plant is beautiful ... and I like things like that for the kids.
At mid-afternoon Friday, they had just four turkey breasts left.
The proceeds are used in the Saks Baptist youth programs.
She will be the class historian, is a member of the Senior Honor Society, vice-president of her class, a member of the Key Club, and Student Council Reporter.
Throw a ball out there and she will play, six years of softball, one basketball. She excels, especially on the softball field where her performance has earned a two-year scholarship to Enterprise Junior College.
Her plans include majoring in biology and then medical school study through the U.S. Air Force.
“Taylor is an outstanding student,” said senior counselor Shannon Carter. “She is a team leader in all she does, is very intelligent, and will do well in any career path she pursues.”
Proud parents are Amanda and Ernie Tucker.
Some applause is in order ...
A couple of weeks back, Saks High’s Ashley Michelle Bowden was our “Top Teen.” Did manage to get most of it right, but her GPA was in error.
It is 3.97, which is a close waltz with perfect. Also, since then, young Miss Bowdon has been told she is salutatorian for the Class of 2012.
That’s high stepping and our apologies for the goof.
George Smith can be reached at 256-239-5286 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.