Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanks For Taking The Time To Write!

I've received more than a few phone calls and e-mails regarding my book, Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries. Many of these communications have come from former coaches or players, or those close to the principle characters in the last 50 years of prep football. I have a long road to hoe to push my platform where I think it can go, but it's been such a fun ride, because you're only a first-time author once before the glow fades and the real work begins.

Of late I got a note from a Kathy Ryan, who married Mike Ryan, the eldest son of Prentice "Pin" Ryan, football coach at Royal Oak Kimball High School from 1957-64. Ryan parlayed eight years at Kimball, where he went 48-16-5, into an assistant coach's position at the University of Iowa under Jerry Burns. Burns is more famously remembered for coaching the Minnesota Vikings. Ryan was also a member of the University of Michigan's "lightweight" 150-pound football team in the 1950s as a collegiate player.

"We have been following your blog and are thrilled to see that the history of South Oakland football has not been forgotten. Football played an important role in the Ryan household," Kathy explained. "Besides Dad's coaching experiences, Mike played wingback and defensive cornerback at Kimball under Paul Temerian, and was named a Knotable Knight his senior year. He went on to play a year as defensive cornerback at Ferris State, and after switching to CMU, was an assistant to Roy Kramer.

"To carry on with the football mindset, our son David, a recent graduate of Western Michigan University, was a sportswriter for the Western Herald and is currently a writer/scout for New Era Scouting," Kathy wrote. "Dad continues to maintain close relationships with Ivy Loftin (Dondero), Herb Deromedi (Kimball / CMU), Chuck Skinner (Hazel Park / Seaholm), Jerry Burns and with some of his Michigan co-players. He still bleeds Maize n' Blue, too!"

I sent a complimentary copy of the book to Paul Carey as a thank you for the really cool introduction he wrote, and he responded with a really cool note in return. Of note was how sharp his memory is at the spry age of 80 in recalling the familiar names from his involvement in Detroit's prep football scene.

"When reading my introduction it came to me that the first player I gave the Thom McAn Award to was Joe Dayton of Detroit Denby... I wish I'd included a whole bunch on coaches who helped me in compiling my all-state nominations, too" Carey wrote.

You did, Paul, but space didn't allow me to list them all, so I'll do it here. The following individuals are hereby recognized by Paul Carey for all their help and dedication of high school football during his years at WJR:

Charlie Jestice, Tom Mach, Ron Thompson, John Goddard, Tom Moshimer, Nate Hampton, Jack Bridges, Andy Rio, Wes Wishart, Chuck Gordon, Bob LaPointe, Al Fracassa, Bob Dozier, Frank Sumbera, Jim McDougall, old friend Jack Castignola, Joe Hoskins, Russ Hepner, John Maronto, Jack Reardon, Bob Yauck, Rick Bly and Dick Comar.

Many others have taken the time to write of their memories of their school. From Grosse Pointe South to Allen Park, from South Lyon to Lake Orion and so many other schools in between.

In short, it's been a very cool fall, and the weather's been nice, too!

~T.C. Cameron is the author of Metro Detroit's High School Football Rivalries, from Arcadia Publishing. The follow-up to the football book, Metro Detroit's High School Basketball Rivalries, will be out in September of 2009.

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