I finally got a chance to sit and watch the ESPY awards last night on ESPN. As always they did a good job mixing the awards and jokes with some of the serious topics like the job the Jimmy V Foundation is doing for cancer research.
Another of the awards given out every year at the ESPY’s is the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. This year’s recipient was Ed Thomas, a high school coach in Iowa who was killed by a former player.
I had read the stories about Thomas, but didn’t have a full understanding for what he meant to that community until I watched the interviews with everyone involved last night. ESPN did a great job of capturing one part of a very difficult series of events that two families and a small town have had to deal with.
After watching I think I gained a greater appreciation for the fact that former Bearkat football coach Ron Randleman was named the first recipient of the Ed Thomas Award at William Penn University. Randleman was the head coach at William Penn while Thomas played quarterback there.
The award Randleman received was inscribed "For his inspiration and motivation as a coach based on the principles of faith, family and excellence."
"That truly describes Ed Thomas," Randleman said. "Ed was one of Parkersburg and Iowa's most beloved citizens. It was a privilege being part of a ceremony honoring his contributions to football and education."
-- Jason Barfield