News and notes

By Rob Patrick

More will be posted in the days and weeks ahead about most of these items, but for now:

Bryant High School sophomore Ian Shuttleworth, who played[more] some tight end and defensive end as a sophomore for the Hornets football team and also plays Babe Ruth baseball, has been diagnosed with Hogkins’ Lymphoma.

Fortunately, he is at the 1A level which is, as his brother Aaron said it, “the best level to be at if you do have cancer.”

Leading up to his first chemo therapy session earlier this week, Ian, the son of Ken and Janet Shuttleworth, continued to participate in off-season work with the football team and play baseball, though he has not been involved in any contact nor continued to catch for his Babe Ruth team.

In fact, Aaron reports that the night before he was to have a medical port put in his chest, he pitched a no-hitter in his team’s pre-season tournament game.

Our prayers are with Ian and his family for successful treatment and full recovery.

* * *

There may have been those who have seen that among job postings on the Bryant School District website is an opening for Athletic Director.

Yes, it is the plan for Tom Farmer, who has served as AD as well as Transportation Director for many years, to vacate the position. It's something he has been thinking about doing for a few years now.

Farmer is not retiring. He is not dying (as someone asked him). He is not leaving the District.

The plan is (with School Board approval, probably this month) for him to continue as Transportation Director and take on the job of Associate Maintenance Supervisor, working with longtime Maintenance Supervisor Bob Padgett.

A search is underway for his replacement as Athletic Director.

* * *

One thing Farmer or his successor will need to do will apparently be to hire a new girls high school basketball coach. Blake Condley has handed in his resignation in order to take a job at Lake Hamilton, enabling his family to be closer to his wife’s parents. It’s something the Condleys have had in mind for a while. Tess Condley is originally from Lake Hamilton.

Blake has always been very gracious, a class act and an excellent coach. He will be missed.

* * *

An L screen is supposed to protect a batting practice pitcher. But last week, when Bryant baseball coach Kirk Bock was throwing to junior Josh Pultro, a line drive got under the screen and plunked the coach on the foot. After a moment to recover from the initial pain, Bock continued to pitch and Pultro continued to hit. But four pitches later, it happened again.

Apparently, the foot was too swollen to get a good x-ray but there may be a break or two among the smaller bones in the foot. It's his left foot, attached to the leg with his bad knee. So, Bock has been hobbling around in a medical boot, using crutches at times, but he barely slowed him down at the Hornets' doubleheader against North Little Rock Thursday, though he admitted after the game, he figured he'd pay for it that night.

Oh, and he's still pitching b.p.

* * *

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* * *

In the process of doing my taxes, I added up my mileage to all the Bryant athletic events and I covered in 2010. I’ve been keeping track since the late ‘80’s, when I started working at the Courier. And, in 2010, I set a new personal record: 11,454 miles.

My previous record was 10,250 in 2001.

I love it!

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