What part the footage on Griffin will play in the overall piece remains to be seen. After all, other schools and coaches throughout the southeast were also interviewed for the piece. Regardless, to be recognized — in the middle of National Signing Day, nonetheless — is an honor not only for the entire Griffin High football program but also for the school as well as the town.
It was one well deserved by a town that has produced 29 NFL players and a school that had five Division I signees a year ago and eight all together a year after having a school-record 11 signed in one season.
Ironically, as of Thursday afternoon, the only local folks expected to sign this year on National Signing Day will came from Spalding High School across town. First-year Jaguars head coach Nick Davis has said throughout the recruiting process he will have several players who will likely sign.
He’s holding to that and expects as many as eight to sign all together — five with junior colleges and another two at the NAIA level. However, Davis would not release names and schools to protect the players and schools in case anything falls through or there are any last-minute changes of heart.
Regardless, it’ll be great to see those young men headed to the next level to continue playing the game they love. Griffin has several players who, although they won’t sign on National Signing Day, could sign down the road. Several of the area’s private schools also have a player or two each who might also sign down the road.
Bring it on — the more, the merrier. Love to see students get a chance through sports or by whatever means necessary to better themselves by getting a college education.
ON BILL KNIGHT:
Went to the Haisten McCullough Funeral Home to pay my respects to former Griffin Daily News Managing Editor Bill Knight’s family on Wednesday night. Knight, 84, passed away Tuesday and was buried Wednesday.
Originally hired as a sports reporter in 1950, the Griffin native worked all 42 of his years in journalism at the Griffin Daily News. The highlights of his sports career included covering the Orange Bowl between Georgia Tech and Baylor, attending the first Peach Bowl at Georgia Tech and the first Atlanta Falcons game and being at the Braves ballpark when Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th home run.
Of course, before Knight was through at the GDN he rose to the position of Managing Editor.
By the time I was hired by the GDN in 1997, Knight had just retired — after coming back in an interim role to help the paper for a brief stint between managing editors — and was penning a name-dropping column once or twice a week. It was during his weekly trips we’d walk. He’d fill me in on the old days. During one of those conversations he mentioned he never used a pad to take extensive quotes during an interview, seldom copying anything more than a fact or two.
I asked him, “Why?”
He said, ”If I couldn’t remember it, it probably wasn’t worth quoting anyway.”
Advice to live by.
We met frequently at football games throughout the years until his health didn’t allow him to attend. Thereafter, we met one last time — when he was inducted into the Griffin-Spalding Athletic Hall of Fame with the Class of 2008. Also inducted with that class were fellow Griffin Daily News career newspaper men James Stewart (24 years at the GDN) and Roger Dix (37 years at the GDN) in addition to local photography legend and former GDN photographer Greg Foster. Good company, any day of the week.
Here’s to saluting Knight and the legacy he leaves behind: Knight and the work he did and roads he forged won’t be forgotten. They will bravely be carried on and forged in a new era.
(John Sullivan is the sports editor at the Griffin Daily News.)