Lotte Blackmon, Billy Hearn, Duane Mock: 3 people who put life, football in perspective
This is an opinion piece.
Spanish Fort head coach Ben Blackmon is used to being in control.
It’s part of the job of a coach.
âWe try to control everything in our program,â he said. âHow we lift, how we approach the day, how we practice, schedule, plan. We want to control all of this. “
At the football stadium, it’s pretty easy.
In life, not so much.
If Blackmon didn’t already know, he quickly found out over the past two weeks. Her 2-year-old daughter, Lotte, was diagnosed with rhinovirus and pneumonia earlier this month.
âWe spent about a week and a half in intensive care at USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which is one of the most wonderful places,â he said on Sports Talk 99.5 FM on Mobile this week. . âThe nurses and doctors looked after us very well. As a family, as a dad, we couldn’t ask for better care so we got there. They were just great.
As Lotte struggled for nearly two weeks, Blackmon’s attention was clearly divided between helping his team prepare for a pair of regional games against Robertsdale and Baldwin County and being with his daughter and wife, Misty, each. times he could.
His choice was quite easy.
âAs a coach it puts your life in perspective,â he said. “This football story is important but not as important as your children and your family.”
This week has brought good news for the family. Lotte was able to remove the ventilator last Monday and returned home later in the week.
âI think 2 year olds recover a lot faster than 40 or 50 year olds,â Blackmon said. âShe’s going to be running in the yard, hopefully in a few weeks. We think of the Lord for all the prayers he has answered.
Blackmon said that when he realized he had no control over this situation, prayers were the only – and the best – option.
âYou still think you are in control,â he said. âYou still want to be. We quickly found out, “Hey, you know what, we’re not.” The good Lord is in control. We had to put it in his hands. We just had to get down on our knees and pray, and He answered our prayers. “
Blackmon and Spanish Fort were inactive this week. The Toros welcome their rival Saraland on Friday.
Huge loss for the Eufaula community
Eufaula High head coach Ed Rigby called Duane Mock a “warrior” and “pillar of the community”.
Mock, Rigby’s defensive coordinator until this fall, passed away this week after a short battle with cancer. Rigby said Mock was diagnosed with a tumor at the top of the spinal cord in early July. He had been at Eufaula High School since 2008. Prior to that he was head coach at neighboring Lakeside from 2004 to 2007.
âHe’s lived a really remarkable life,â Rigby said of Mock. âHe coached for 30 years in Alabama. He was on two Olympic bobsleigh teams even though he was from Atmore, Alabama, where there had never been snow. He had a wonderful wife and two wonderful daughters.
âHe touched everyone with his training and the type of man he was. He was a devout Christian. His impact on the young men in the program and the boys and girls he has worked with over the years cannot be overstated. He was the very embodiment of what a real man should be.
Mock died at his home on Thursday. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. today at Tiger Stadium in Eufaula. Donations can be made to the Duane Mock Sports Scholarship Fund at Eufaula High School, 530 Lake Drive, Eufaula, Alabama, 36027.
Pray for Ethan Hearn
Less than five years after his mother’s death, professional baseball player Ethan Hearn had to bury his father on Friday.
Billy Hearn died earlier this week after a battle with COVID-19.
Ethan, a former Christian baseball and soccer player from Mobile, received the 2017 Jimmy Smothers Courage Award from the Alabama Sports Writers Association after finding his mother dead following soccer practice Thursday in the fall. He showed up the next day and played in the Mobile Christian playoff game at Oakman.
Hearn eventually decided to give up football and focus on his baseball career. He was drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 MLB Draft by the Chicagoans and chose to sign with the Cubs instead of playing varsity baseball in the state of Mississippi. He spent that year as a catcher at Low-A Myrtle Beach.
The family has asked for donations to be made to the Mobile Christian baseball program in honor of Billy Hearn.
I pray for you, Ethan.
I read this the other day on social media. It seems appropriate in all three of these situations.
âGod has a reason for allowing things to happen. We may never understand his wisdom, but we just need to trust his will. “