Reflecting on a great story

In April, I applied for the Jim Murray Memorial Scholarship, a $5,000 accolade and one of the most prestigious journalism scholarships in the country.

The prompt for the competition was to write a column-style piece on a coach, player, referee or fan, and illustrate how they love what they do.

Whether it be cheering for your favorite team, officiating a football game, or perhaps playing-my decision could not of been better.

I chose to write about my high school football coach from Eureka High School, Farrell Shelton, who is one of the most respected, loyal and faithful people I am honored to know.

For four years I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play under Shelton, and the experience I gained not only from playing for him, but in life is beyond words.

Here is a man who has everlasting desire, heart and pride. He carries on in life not letting anything get in his way.

After applying for the scholarship, there was a rather long grace period-all summer-until the results were announced. It was taxing at times as I found myself constantly checking to see if anything had been posted, making phone calls and hammering out numerous emails.

After close to three months of waiting, I was informed that I didn’t receive the scholarship I was hoping for. After all, I was the only one to apply from Ball State University, and was up against 29 other applicants from their respective universities across the nation. Five scholarships were handed out, but none of them were meant for me.

The disappointing news was extremely difficult to swallow, not only because I didn’t win, but the amount of time and effort I put into it was unbelievable. It took me close to a month-yes a full month-along with a hand full of in-depth interviews with folks in Wildwood/Eureka (my home town), gathering and sorting through facts, statistics and other information that ultimately enabled me to turn in a final product.

However, just because I wasn’t chosen for this award doesn’t mean I will halt my writing or my pursuit of my dream. Absolutely not.

In fact, the outcome motivates, encourages and inspires me toward more challenging tasks-whether it be another national scholarship or an internship.

I’m honored to share my scholarship story with you all, as there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. If you haven’t met Shelton and have an opportunity to, I strongly encourage you to do so, even if it’s just a brief “Hello,” and a hand shake.

With that said, here’s the link to my story:

Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to respond to all of them.

One last note-I would like to give a special thanks to a rather long list of people who made this experience remotely possible.

I would like to thank coach Bryan Clar, who provided me with all of the statistics regarding my story, coach’s Greg Cleveland, Sharon Wasson and Farrell Shelton, who took the time to allow me conduct inclusive over the phone interviews, providing me with outstanding quotes and other invaluable information.

To Rob and Sally Rains, who I intern with, for publishing my story on their website. It turned out fantastic.

To my family, who stood behind me every day, through the ups and downs. Without your love and support, this wouldn’t of been possible.

To Jon Strauss, faculty adviser of The Ball State Daily News, who assisted me with my story.

To Andrew Mishler, sports editor for Daily News, who initially brought this opportunity to my attention.

As always, thanks for reading…



Lembo inks Tennessee transfer

After losing a pool of running backs from last season’s roster, including Eric Williams, who’s 646 yards and five rushing touchdowns lead the bunch, first-year coach Pete Lembo upgraded the position Thursday.

But help is still a ways away.

University of Tennessee redshirt sophomore running back Toney Williams went public with his decision to transfer to Ball State, according to Tom Davis, of The News-Sentinel.

“I knew a little bit about the program and got a chance to look at the communications program,” Williams told the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Williams was said to have felt like everything “just clicked” when he took a tour of Ball State.

Williams started three games for the Volunteers in 2010. He carried the ball five times for 11 yards.

Because of NCAA rules, Williams must sit out the entirety of this season. Williams will be eligible for the 2012 season.


More on RB Toney Williams

  • Enrolled at the University of Tennessee in January of 2009 and took part in spring drills.
  • Rated No. 4 among fullbacks in 2009 class by
  • Invited to Under Armour All-America Game after his senior season at Milton High School.
  • Class 5A Player of the Year in 2008, leading Milton High School to the state playoffs for the fist time in nine seasons.
  • Named All-State and All-Fulton County as a senior by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
  • Rushed for 1,945 yards, scoring 26 touchdowns as a senior at Milton HS.


Perron won’t be ready for start of camp

The Blues are six weeks away from opening their 2011 training camp, and according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the team plans to open camp without forward David Perron, who is still suffering from postconcussion symptoms.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong commented on the issue, saying, “David has shown improvement, but it’s not to the point where he’s ready to come in and work out and start training yet.”

Perron’s condition improved dramatically a couple of months ago, but it’s been slow and steady since.

“We’ve decided to just move forward with the idea that David won’t be ready for training camp,” Armstrong said. “He’ll just continue to progress and when he is ready, he’ll jump back in and start his training.”

Perron was injured Nov. 4 when he was blindsided by San Jose’s Joe Thornton, on what many believe was a cheap shot. Perron briefly left the game and returned to score the second goal in the Blues’ 2-0 win. Thornton was hit with a two-game suspension, or a slap on the wrist by the NHL.

Initially, Perron said he was OK, but his symptoms worsened the next day when the team traveled to Boston. Consequently, he didn’t play for the rest of the season, missing the remaining 72 games.

Perron, 23, who broke into the NHL at the age of 18, recorded 53 goals and 131 points in 235 games. After signing off on a two-year, $4.3 million contract extension last summer, Perron scored just five goals and tallied two assists in 10 games before suffering a concussion.

Despite the lingering symptoms, the Blues are confident that Perron will resume his NHL career.