But having been around this portion of the state when former Alexandria coach Larry Ginn and former Lincoln coach Keith Howard died, I have a sense of what it’s like in the Ozark area now.
Carroll High School head football coach Stacey Watters, along with his son, 10-year-old Quentin, died in an automobile accident this past Thursday in Orlando. Jai, his nine-year-old son, was listed in critical condition.
He led the Eagles to a 3-7 record this past fall in his first season at their helm, improving upon their 2010 campaign by two victories. Prior to that, he served stints as a head coach in Georgia and an assistant at Class 1A powerhouse Linden.
“This news certainly saddens us all,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said “Coach Watters was an energetic young coach who was making a difference in young people’s lives. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family, his team, Carroll and Southern Choctaw schools and we pray God will sustain them all during this difficult time.”
Watters was 38 years old.
• Herring preparing for senior year: I’m getting old.
Time seems as if it’s flying by when it used to take forever. I even mistake things that happened a few years ago for happening last year.
This past Sunday, I randomly ran into former Saks standout Stephen Herring at a gathering at the home of a mutual friend.
So, I decided to ask him how things were looking heading into his sophomore year of college.
Dude graciously corrected and informed he’s going into his senior year as a walk-on at UAB.
And the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is doing his thing on and off the field.
He’s looking forward to the opportunity to earn more playing time under new Blazers’ head coach Garrick McGee.
“He’s really brought a lot of enthusiasm and hype to the program,” Herring said. “He’s all about business.”
Herring has seen time at both receiver and on special teams throughout his collegiate career. He’s appeared in games against the likes of Memphis, Southern Miss and Rice.
He was named to Conference USA’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2010 and is holding down a 3.7 grade point average after putting up 4.0’s the past couple semesters.
Herring, an anatomy lab instructor, said he’d like to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy at UAB once his playing days are over.
• Ranburne’s Mobley signs: Thanks to Star high school sports correspondent Rip Donovan for this one.
Ranburne softball player Leah Mobley will take her impressive stat total to Wallace State Community College in Dothan. In her final three seasons as a Lady Bulldog she batted .325 to go along with 90 runs, 20 doubles, eight triples and 42 RBIs.
She’ll join a Wallace-Dothan squad that is expected to return only two players from last year’s squad.
Mobley was also a key player on the Lady Bulldogs’ basketball teams in recent years. They reached the sub-state round of the AHSAA Class 2A state playoffs this past season and advanced to the Northeast Regional tournament during the 2010-2011 season.
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.