I wanted to take space in my column to remember for the passing of one of my best friends and teaching mentor, Pete Prickett, who died last month after a long and courageous battle against cancer. 

You hear the word “mentor” bandied about quite a bit in the sports world but when it came to being in the classroom,  Prickett truly personified the word.

He left me with three valuable pieces of advice which I even transferred over to my coaching career:  1) Never take yourself too seriously.  He always said being too serious could make teaching a miserable job.  2) Treat everyone with respect and realize each person walking in that classroom has different needs and backgrounds.  That really rang true with how I managed my classroom and sports teams.  3) Don’t get upset with the bosses because you’ll be there long after they’ve left.  That was probably the best piece of advice he gave.

He was loved and respected by his peers and students alike and he will be greatly missed.  My prayers go out to his wife, Linda, and the family

Helmet-to-helmet hits in football. Why are colleges and the NFL getting so bent out of shape about this?  This type of “tackling” has been inculcated into the pigskin culture since the early 1980s…when it became apparent to players this was a much easier way of bringing down and opponent and at the same time getting featured on the highlight reels.

Tennis fixing. Hard to believe anyone bets on this sport but I will admit it is probably one of the easiest sports to take a dive and win big money for someone.

 Mike Tolbert. I was so happy the first former county gridiron player to make the Super Bowl played at DCHS.  Mike was an outstanding player and was/is a great role model for kids.  It’ll be a long time before any other school in the county has an honor like that.

 NBA. Have to admit I never watch it but if all the teams had a Steph Curry I might tune in.  The kid is a phenom, sports no tattoos and comes from a great family.  I will say I’m glad Curry and guys like LaBron James are sporting longer shorts.

A.J. Styles. thankfully the WWE signed the greatest pro wrestler/athlete in the world to a contract.  Styles is a devoted Christian and family man who hails from Gainesville, and truthfully does things inside that ring which are amazing.

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