Will God still bless this sorry ole’ sportswriter?

Posted by Andy Durham on April 14, 2008 at 6:04 pm under High School, Uncategorized | 11 Comments to Read

There have been several interesting comments since I came out with the blog article from last week that talked about the young man that transferred from Grimsley to Gospel Light Christian School in Walkertown. After that article you would think I might be headed down the AC/DC Highway to Hell.

If you read the piece closely I did not take any personal swipes at the young man, I just questioned the transfer and asked some key questions about how this might effect his future on the college level. Again, as I stated Friday I have all the respect in the world for the Jones family and I wish Aaron was still on the mound for the Grimsley Whirlies. Maybe it is the jealous coach coming out in me, but what if Grimsley has Jon Wilkinson, George Carter, DJ Russ and the lefthander Aaron Jones on the hill this season? I loved watching that kid pitch because the lefthanded delivery changes the effect of the game on the high school level and the slow lefthanded curve is very deceiving to the young hitters and even the older guys have problems with it.

Grimsley might have had a shot at a State Title run with Aaron Jones on the mound this season. There is no question of Aaron’s character on my part, I am just questioning his decision to go to Gospel Light Christian School. How do you get better when you step down a level in competition? I will not ask that question again because I have already brought that up before. My job is not to question people’s character, my job is to evaluate talent and let players know where they need to be, to get better. I know these things because I have been out there in the fire for over 40 years and I compete with players younger than me on a regular basis. Most of the players I see are usually 25-30 years younger than me and they still end up paying the price.

I write sports stories and I am on the front line. If I’m not playing the game, then I’m reporting on the game by way of the internet or radio. I like watching the local teams and I give them fairly decent coverage. I would have seen Aaron Jones if he was still at Grimsley, but the way the Gospel Light people have been bad-mouthing me, I will never see another game at Gospel Light. I am the top, #1 sportswriter, that covers this part of the state. I hope Aaron Jones will end up playing for one our local summer baseball programs so I can see the lefthander throw it again.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion so let’s hope all of you who choose to read the web blog articles at this site, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us, and I plan on calling Mr. Robbie Jones and get his inside thoughts on how all of this went down with his son. Maybe it’s not a big deal and I was blowing it all out of proportion, but to me this was huge, because we had not heard a thing out of Aaron until that Vandalia game. If Gospel Light played Grimsley, Northwest Guilford, or East Forsyth and there was no Aaron Jones on the mound for Gospel Light then GL would lose 50-0. If Aaron was out there then maybe he would keep the score down but it still might be 20-0 even with the 10 run mercy-rule after five innings. These are hypothetical situations, what do you the reader say? Is this kind of talk bologna or blognona? The real story might be Aaron is a very good pitcher but at Gospel Light he does’t have any help and that’s why I brought up that original question in the beginning. Why would you go there to get better any way?

The fine folks over at thisboardrocks.com were blasting the blog article on Aaron going to Gospel Light. They have a great resource message board for high school baseball scores and player info but they don’t believe in ever questioning player movements or transfers decisions. It’s all positives at thisboardrocks.com and that’s not the way it is in the real world and that’s why we get readers talking out on these contraversial subjects. In the long-term scheme of things in life, who is going to respond with any stir at all to everything that is picture-perfect. I appreciate the good info at thisboardrocks.com and have sent many people to that site but they can’t carry a candle to where this sportswriter has been.

For many of you that have said the path to a DI school is no different for a kid coming out of a private Christian School than it is for a kid coming from the public school, you are blind to the reality of this, the real world. We talked about some rare exceptions and one of those would be Brian Waters who played point guard for Coach Jerry Bailey at Alamance Christian School in Graham and then he went on to start for Elon Univeristy. David Carlyle attended Woodland Christian in Winston-Salem but he transferred to North Forsyth and later played at Old Dominion and Wake Forest.

Nathan Jameson played basketball at Wesleyan Acadmey in High Point and later started for UNCG. Wesley Wrenn got a baseball scholarship coming out of High Point Wesleyan and Michael Dimock who is there now, is on his way to Wake Forest on a baseball ride. The real question that I have about HPW is, “are they a real Christian School”, or are they more like a Greensboro Day School and all the other private schools? I’m just asking, maybe someone can let us in on the truth…..

It is tough to get to the DI colleges coming out of these Christian Schools and if you do, will you really be ready? In football, my research says, NO WAY…Tim Tebow won the Heisman coming from a Home School didn’t he? That must have some heck of a Home School league he was playing in. I think your best bet would in basketball. There is some good un-tapped talent floating around out there, even in the private Christian Schools. In baseball your chances are not that good. The one thing that can change this equation is AAU or summer league ball. If you end up on a good AAU team an above average summer league team, then you still have an outside shot.

If you have read with interest this entire blog article you are probably saying by now that this man really knows his stuff. I Do. I want to leave this discussion open and we may need to bring in a doctor/professor from one of the local universities to break this subjet down even further. I have decided not to go in that direction so far because I know more than most of those people with college doctorates.(Believe me, I have facts to back it up.) I will continue to dig deep into this topic and I feel good that I was able to get so many of you thinking and talking and no harm was meant to the Jones family at all. I have never written anything bad about them and if Aaron was still at Grimlsey I would be calling his game on the radio tomorrow night.

The move to Gospel Light, I still question it but I have to admit, it really has made for an interesting discussion. Will God still bless this sorry ole’ sportswriter? You’re darn straight, he already has and he will continue to bless one of the top sportwriters this part of the state has ever, and will ever see……

*****To read all of the comments go to the high school section and click on high school and scroll back to baseball story or go to thisboardrocks.com and check out some of their opinions.*****

It’s a great thing we can share our opinions in this country and isn’t it a good thing we can still ask questions. I still wonder why certain things happen.


  • Plate dad said,

    Sounds like what you have started something you can not justify or finish. Now, you attack the school. Go in the hole you can from. I have spoken!!!

  • Doug Cockman said,

    It seems to me that Andy is only questioning the level of play at Gospel Light, not the quality of the school as a whole. This seems like a fair question. I really don’t think this is the personal attack that many would like to believe. The writer himself coached at a Christian high school for a number of years. I think he understands this subject better than most. I follow D-I football and basketball recruiting and it is fairly common to have questions come up when a player comes out of a smaller high school as to the type of competition he faced. It is not looked at as an attack on the kid’s character. It just means he’ll have to prove himself at the next level. Good luck to this kid when he moves on to UNC-W.

  • sportsmom said,

    Speaking as a mom who has had her 4 children in a Christian school for over 12 years, they all wanted to transfer between the 7th and 8th grade due to wanting to advance in their sport. Andy is right about the level of play at these schools. You have some 7th graders playing with seniors. The difference is the atmospere of the school day. You can study do your school work, and still speak of GOD when you want . There is no one disrupting classes. I wish my kids would have stayed for their entire high school years, but at some point it is their choice. That is what some kids need. A setting of learning not just testing on the same things like public school. I wish the best for this young man, I bet it was a hard choice for him, but I don’t think it will hurt him much moving forward with his sport. He’s a great player and school wise he’ll be ready. Andy keep on reporting the way you do. It seems to keep people thinging about what is really important in this world. Is it really just sports….

  • ryan perdue said,

    I was all prepped to write a long probably rambling message about this but thanks to Doug and Sportsmom, I don’t have to.
    Comparing compitition between many smaller christians schools and the bigger city schools was what Andy was doing and like he said it isn’t even close.
    I don’t think he was questioning the integrity of the christians school at all.
    Some college coachs would be unhappy about this and that’s just reality.
    It still doesn’t mean that transfering back wasn’t the best thing for this young man.
    I know personally how much my time with God means to me every day so I will never knock someone trying to do what he feels like God is telling him to do if this is the case.
    Best of luck to him.
    I also appreciate Andy for bringing this up as it made me think.
    After 31 years, there is always a first!

  • Jeff J said,

    I don’t think there is any question that Aaron stepped down maybe several levels in compitition with the move, but as I have said before, it’s not always just about baseball. Aaron plays on several traveling teams during the season and gets constant coaching help at a Greensboro sports complex. I do know that his college coach is not concerned about the transfer and is looking forward to having Arron with the Seahawks next fall. You keep refering to Aaron as a pitcher. Aaron is now and always has been a first baseman. He pitches because most good athletes will do what is necessary to help their team. Because he hits so well, most teams just walk him so he won’t do as much damage. I believe Aaron could walk off the field this season and play for any other team in the state. Why? Because he works at his game, always has. He attended camps as a youngster and was looked at by Alabama before they changed coaches. I know you meant no harm for Aaron. He just did what he did for his own reasons and I think he will be better off because of it. Thanks

  • He15man said,

    Tebow played for Nease high school in St. Augustine even though he was homeschooled. There is a rule that allows homeschooled kids to play sports for the school in their district even if they don’t attend that school. I’m not sure if that rule applies here in NC. Just an FYI.

  • NotJimMelvin said,

    Andy is right about transferring to a private school. There is a huge talent drop. However, if he has already received a scholarship, I’m guessing the change had nothing to do with Athletics.

    Grimsley is not the school it used to be. Just watch the news or read the Rhino. Maybe he felt (or his parents) felt that it was in his best interests to get out of there.

  • Catchingheat said,

    I agree about TBR. They protect a certain few from mentioning transfers.

  • trevor said,

    Andy, you still don’t get it. Once again, with feeling: Maybe the young man transfered for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball or precious Grimsley. Maybe he wanted to be in a better environment for his last year in high school. Why does every decision-making process have to revolve around sports? Please don’t call yourself a sports writer. You rarely talk to people to get both sides to a story. Case in point being this one. First you didn’t bother to pick up a phone to call the boy or his family. No, several days later with the father telling you to call him, you still haven’t. Yet you still found 30 minutes or so to ramble on about how you know everything. Sheesh!

  • Carey Read said,

    I hope the “best sportswriter in the area” talk is tongue-in-cheek. Otherwise, you are a complete ego maniac. Most folks don’t have to TELL people how much experience they have or how important they are. I don’t live in the area and don’t know you are any of the people involved. But as an outsider, I can say that the appearence is that you have an axe to grind because you have some connection to Grimsley High. You also don’t take criticism very well. By the way, TBR is a fantastic site and is so for the very reason that you disparage. Any yahoo with a Blog can sling negativity but TBR sticks to all the good things going on in high school ball.

  • Dave said,

    In baseball espescially, the majority of players that get scholarships to D1 and D2 colleges get it because they play AAU and showcase tournaments. This is where you will find most of the scouts. Scouts don’t have time to go to different high schools every week to look at different players. They go to showcase tournaments that feature teams that are made up of the best players in the region. The best way to get on a showcase team is to play AAU and travel ball and show off your talant then get invited to play on one of these teams. It doen’t matter what kind of school you play for because scouts rarely watch high school games. The players that make it big don’t get exposure from thier high school, they get it from playing in travel showcase tournaments.
    Sure, if you play for a private or christian school you may not have quite as good competition. But if you are a good enough player, it wont matter one bit if you go to a christian or a public school, as long as you get exposure through travel and showcase ball.