Homage to a Tough Season

The All-Laurens County team ... mingles. (Photos by Monte Dutton)

The All-Laurens County team … mingles. (Photos by Monte Dutton)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, December 3, 2015, 8:54 a.m.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

The last time I was at a sports awards banquet, it was at the Waldorf-Astoria.

On Wednesday night, I was at Lakeside Country Club for the Laurens County Touchdown Club’s annual awards banquet.

Our county has had better years. Laurens District 55 High School won and lost six each. Clinton High School was 3-7. Laurens Academy was 3-8. Presbyterian College was 2-9. The coach of the 3-7 team, Andrew Webb, was Coach of the Year.

Coach Willie Jeffries, South Carolina State University's Head Coach Emeritus.

Coach Willie Jeffries, South Carolina State University’s Head Coach Emeritus.

I had a great time, though. The food wasn’t as pretty as what the Waldorf used to provide. I’m sure the fare in Las Vegas, where the Sprint Cuppers now convene, is similarly photogenic,¬†and we will know this because of Facebook and Instagram.

At the Touchdown Club, Lee’s Barbecue provided the grub, it was tasty, and I had enough sense not to wear a tie because minced barbecue attracts the front of my shirt already.

The guest speaker was the great Willie Jeffries, legendary coach at South Carolina State, Wichita State and Howard, and member of the College Football Hall of Fame. “Coach Jeff” plays an awards banquet like the Red Hot Chili Peppers play Coachella. He is all good humor and slogans, inspiration and irreverence. He’s just right, like Billy Crystal hosting the Oscars.

(I just wanted to be the first person to compare Willie Jeffries to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s possible someone else compared him to Billy Crystal.)

The greatest Laurens Tiger (they didn't become Raiders until the 1970s), King Dixon.

The greatest Laurens Tiger (they didn’t become Raiders until the 1970s), King Dixon.

The room at the country club had lots of humility in it, due in no small part to the aforementioned records which, combined, add up to 14 victories and 30 defeats. Anyone would have been impressed by the respectful demeanor of the coaches and athletes. Six months from now, two of them may knock off a liquor store, but on Wednesday night, they all looked as if their heads were on straight, and that is unusual for young men of their ages.

Here’s my news story from the GoLaurens/GoClinton website: http://www.golaurens.com/news/item/22348

It’s noteworthy that a banquet honoring the sport that divides Laurens County the most is the one that most unites it. Red Devils and Raiders, living in peace until come next season …

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

My first novel, The Audacity of Dope, was about a former college football player. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_351_15?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=0QA86AAT118Q4X20HWC0

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

My second novel, The Intangibles, has a high school football team at its center. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=1K69GDG3BVRWQ7MN8MK5

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

My current novel, Crazy of Natural Causes, is about a high school coach who loses everything and reinvents himself. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes

So, yeah, I like football.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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2 Responses to Homage to a Tough Season

  1. Bob Franks says:

    The pictures of Coach Jeffries and the people behind King Dixon shows just how much progress has been made in Laurens County during the past sixty years. The only people of color who would have been allowed inside the country club during my senior year ay CHS would be the ones serving and cleaning up.
    You should write a book telling how this happened and how much better we all are as a result.

  2. Monte says:

    That was my intention in a novel called The Intangibles.

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