Category Archives: High School Sports

Thanks to a former NFL player, Duncanville’s Barak Gurnell has found his niche and passion in football


TEXAS CLASS 6A FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW


DUNCANVILLE, Texas — Tamara Gurnell was going on and on Wednesday morning about how her son, Barak Gurnell, doesn’t routinely watch football.

“He doesn’t watch a whole lot of football,” Tamara Gurnell told Making Headline News. “I could turn it on a game and he’ll go in another room. He’s just not into watching football like that.”


EYE OF THE PANTHER 

HEART OF A CHAMPION — A little more than two years removed from having become thoroughly active in competitive football, Barak Gurnell has made some pretty immeasurable strides for a Duncanville High team (15-0) that has re-emerged as a national standout and will square off against Houston’s North Shore (15-0) for the Texas Class 6A championship Saturday at 7 p.m. CST at AT&T Stadium.

That certainly isn’t the case for her son on the field.

A little more than two years removed from having become thoroughly active in competitive football, Barak Gurnell has made some pretty immeasurable strides for a Duncanville High team (15-0, ranked No. 8 nationally by MaxPreps.com) that has re-emerged as a national standout and will square off against Houston’s North Shore (15-0, ranked No. 10 nationally by MaxPreps.com) for the Texas Class 6A championship Saturday at 7 p. m. CST at AT&T Stadium.

Led by former Dallas Skyline coach Reggie Sample, Duncanville is ranked No. 1 in Texas Class 6A, according to MaxPreps. North Shore is ranked No. 2.

A 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior defensive tackle, Gurnell has practically held his own and made a name for himself as a marquee player for a Panther defensive unit that denied perennial power Allen of a second consecutive state title with a 44-35 win in the state semifinals.


“Football has become a very important part of my life in a very short period of time and I honestly can’t see going to college without it. It pushes me to be a better version of myself every day.” — Duncanville senior defensive tackle Barak Gurnell 


STOCK IS RISING — What a difference two years have made for a young, gifted kid whom, to his credit, has managed to attract interests from a host of college, a trend he expects to increase much sooner than later.

Football alone isn’t the only factor that has greatly inspired Gurnell to maximize his potential as he continues to lobbies for a full ride scholarship as a member of a nationally-ranked Duncanville team that’s loaded with Division 1-caliber players and is back in the state championship for the first time in two decades.

Amongst those who essentially spearheaded Gurnell’s quest to consider football is former NFL player Roderick Lewis.

A former Dallas Bishop Dunne Catholic and University of Arizona star, Lewis, 47, played four professional seasons for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1994-1997.

PIVOTAL EXTRA POINT — Amongst those who essentially spearheaded Gurnell’s quest to consider football is former NFL player Roderick Lewis. A former Dallas Bishop Dunne Catholic and University of Arizona star, Lewis, 47, played four professional seasons for the Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans from 1994-1997.

As Tamara Gurnell recalled, Lewis was rather direct when suggesting that her son — who already exhibits the size of an NFL defensive lineman — should serious consider giving football a try.

“My friend, Rod Lewis, hadn’t seen Barak for some time until his daughter’s 17th birthday party,” Tamara Gurnell explained. “Rod’s face lit up with excitement and he began to pat Barak on the back and chest, commenting on how big he had gotten.”

As it turns out, it seemed that divine intervention essentially couldn’t keep Barak Gurnell off of Lewis’ mind days after the two had crossed paths.

MOM KNOWS BEST –— Come Saturday night, amongst the things that will likely come to mind for Gurnell when he sets foot on Texas high school football’s biggest stage is how his willingness to embrace wise counsel has ultimately allowed his gift to make room for him.

“A few days later, Rod called me to discuss Barak’s future, highly encouraging (him) to consider football as a viable option to add to his high school portfolio,” Tamara Gurnell recalled.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

That’s because not only did Barak Gurnell heed the pertinent advice of Lewis but, much to his delight, it’s safe to assume that competitive football, by all accounts, has become an integral part of his life.

Come Saturday night, amongst the things that will likely come to mind for Gurnell when he sets foot on Texas high school football’s biggest stage is how his willingness to embrace some wise counsel has ultimately allowed his gift to make room for him.

Yep. What a difference two years have made for a young, gifted kid whom, to his credit, has managed to attract interests from a host of college, a trend he expects to increase much sooner than later.

“I have spoken to Lyon College over the phone and Texas State University (scouts) in person,” said Gurnell, adding that Oklahoma State and SMU have expressed interests in his services.

REMEMBER THE NAME — A 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior defensive tackle, Gurnell has practically held his own and made a name for himself as a marquee player for a Panther defensive unit that denied perennial power Allen of a second consecutive state title with a 44-35 win.

Surely, Gurnell’s short list of schools, in all likelihood, will expand, considering just this past summer, he attended camps at SMU, OSU, Baylor, TCU, the University of Houston, Rice University, and Texas A&M Commerce, among others.

“There will be no problems off the field,” said Gurnell, when asked what direct message he’d like to send to college scouts and recruiters. “I always make sure to conduct myself in a respectable fashion and that my grades are never a problem. Right now, I’m preparing for the state final game against North Shore, and I plan to continue to lift weights through the winter and do some conditioning once it gets warmer.”

If nothing else, for a youngster who’s a relatively newcomer to football, Gurnell certainly has become knowledgeable of the prerequisites essential for landing an athletic scholarship.

“The coaches give honest feedback,” Tamara Gurnell said of her son’s constant progression to the sport. “Essentially, Barak is a diamond in the rough. Because he is so new to the sport, the learning curve is massive.”

All things considered, one would be hard-pressed to discover just how “massive” of a curve it is, given the sustained success Gurnell has enjoyed in such a brief timeframe.

“He is a quick study, and in football, intellect is key,” said Tamara Gurnell, sounding very much like a prep football insider. “(The Duncanville coaching staff) believe he will be offered a (partial) scholarship, if not a full one, mainly because there is limited film due to his late start in the sport. They believe he will surely be an asset, because of his character and great grades.”

PUTTING IN WORK — If nothing else, for a youngster who’s a relatively newcomer to football, Gurnell certainly has become knowledgeable of the prerequisites essential to landing an athletic scholarship.

Something even a former NFL player had recognized at a birthday party.

Speaking of party, expect the Gurnells to host one if the Panthers upend North Shore Saturday night in Arlington, which is roughly two towns over from Duncanville.

Heck, expect them to throw an even bigger party if Barak Gurnell pulls off the unthinkable by signing a National Letter of Intent in the foreseeable future , which undoubtedly would be a massive, remarkable feat for a relatively newcomer to the sport.

“I will be proud (if he earns a football scholarship), because he is one step closer to his independence,” Tamara Gurnell said. “I am enjoying the man he is becoming.”

A youngster who already exhibits the frame of an NFL defensive lineman.

Talk about impressive.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Collierville offensive lineman Kendarius Malone’s mother writes him an open letter as he lobbies for football scholarship

MEMPHIS — Kendarius Malone can be appropriately described as an opportunistic student athlete.

STOCK RISING — Aside from helping steer the Collierville High to a third place finish in the always rugged 6A Region 7 district, Kendarius Malone enjoyed a resourceful, yet crucial senior season which, to his credit, had given way to at least one college thrusting him under its radar. According to the 17-year-old Collierville native, Mid-South Conference member Kentucky Christian University has expressed interest in Malone, who earned All-Region Honorable Mention for his valiant contributions.

Consider, for instance, how Malone, who recently wrapped up his prep football tenure for Collierville High, had gone about doing the necessary things to enhance his stock as he continues to lobby for a full ride scholarship.

A 6-foot, 260-pound left tackle, Malone made appearances — thus made his presence felt — this past spring and summer during camps at the University of Memphis, Belhaven College, Austin Peay State, not to mention the Team USA Camp.

“In the Team USA Camp, I made it to the final round to be able to play for the United States,” an enthused Malone told Making Headline News this week. “However, I had to withdraw so that I would not lose my eligibility to play for my senior year because of TSSAA rules.”

Although Malone didn’t savor the chance to showcase his football mechanics for his country, his immeasurable body of work, nevertheless, undoubtedly was nothing short of impressive.

For starters, he was the catalyst his senior campaign for a Collierville team that finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, but still managed to advance to the opening round of the TSSAA state playoffs.


EYE OF THE DRAGON

SOMEONE SIGN THIS KID — Malone, who recently wrapped up his prep football tenure for Collierville High, had gone about doing the necessary things to enhance his stock as he continues to lobby for a full ride scholarship.

Aside from helping steer the Dragons to a third place finish in the always rugged 6A Region 7 district, Malone enjoyed a resourceful, yet crucial senior season which, to his credit, had given way to at least one college thrusting him under its radar.

According to the 17-year-old Collierville native, Mid-South Conference member Kentucky Christian University has expressed interest in Malone, who earned All-Region Honorable Mention for his valiant contributions.

“I would say that I had an excellent season,” Malone said.

Much to Malone’s delight, no can attest to how great a season he enjoyed more than his mother, Jennifer Bogan.

ALL AMERICAN IN HIS OWN RIGHT — A 6-foot, 260-pound left tackle, Malone made it appearance — thus made his presence felt — this past spring and summer during camps at the University of Memphis, Belhaven College, Austin Peay State, not to mention the Team USA Camp.

Hours after the Collierville’s team banquet Monday night, Bogan took to her Facebook page, where she assembled an open letter to her son in relatively loving, emotional fashion.

Said Bogan in a spirited, tear-jerking, early morning post that was made public before her nearly-400 social media followers:


Congratulations to Kendarius on a wonderful time at the CHS football banquet. You didn’t receive the top award that you wanted, but baby, the champion lies within your heart. You fought a great battle, and to even see last night happen and for that, there is no trophy, certificate, banner, or plaque worthy enough to symbolize how blessed you are after all that you have been through. You didn’t lose sight of your dreams and didn’t lose your faith in seeing your senior football season happen! Your story is still unfinished. The reason of this path is still unknown, but what we do know is there is purpose behind every situation! The thing I love about you is no matter what, you have not gotten discouraged and still hours later, you looked on to what’s getting ready to happen in the next chapter and the next doors that’s opening, and for that I’m sooo proud of you! Again, congratulations on the award you did receive…keep going and keep having the heart of a champion in all the things you do…with God, ALL things are possible!!! Mama loves you! 


Talk about an encouraging, open letter for the ages — this from a mother whom, years ago, didn’t sense her son would become engaged in athletics.

“I never thought that Kendarius would play football, because he was never interested in sports growing up,” Bogan, a Pharmacy Technician Supervisor at Baptist Memorial Hospital, said. “He was in the shadows of his older brother’s basketball teams, being the water boy. I never thought he would play football until he started his eighth year at First Assembly Christian School and the coaches kept begging him to play and told me that they see so much potential in him.

HOLDING IT DOWN — Malone was the catalyst his senior campaign for a Collierville team that finished the season with a 5-6 overall record, but still managed to advance to the opening round of the TSSAA state playoffs.

“However, I didn’t think anything of it and had said ‘No’ to him playing football until one day he came home with pads, and a consent form.”

Malone, as Bogan recalled, was 14 years old at the time.

A little more than three years removed from having come home with a consent form to play competitive football, Bogan’s son now finds himself just one National Letter of Intent signing away from attending college free of charge.

What a difference having initially assumed the role as a water boy has made.

When asked what kind of player will a college be inheriting if he’s offered a football scholarship, Malone said, “A player that is passionate about the game of football… (one who is) ready to learn and be taught how to excel at the college level, a player that is open to all possibilities, and one the will give 110 percent on every snap and every down.

That, after all, practically sums up why he can be appropriately described as an opportunistic student athlete.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

Lewisville High football standout Tahj Martin: ‘It is a dream for me to play college football’

LEWISVILLE, Texas — Tahj Martin is just a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

Consider, for instance, Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.


FRESHMAN SENSATION

UNDER THE RADAR — Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for Lewisville coach Michael Odle’s squad, Tahj Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action this past season for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

Speaking of the NFL, Martin doesn’t shy away from the notion that playing football on Sundays undoubtedly is amongst his major long-term ambitions.

But first thing’s first: blossoming as a rising prep footballer.

“I am a hard working athlete, who has come from very humble surroundings,” Martin told Making Headline News during a weekend interview. “I am a magnet and people gravitate to me, because of my winning personality and attitude.”

A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville (Texas) High’s football team.

 

STOCK IS RISING — With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

Martin, in fact, is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

Assuming roles on both sides of the ball as a left tackle and defensive end for coach Michael Odle’s squad, Martin enjoyed a significant amount of action for the Farmers as his stock amongst college scouts and recruiters increased mightily in the process.

No one, it seems, can attest to his notion more than his father, Geoffrey Grant Martin, who’s thoroughly convinced that his son is making a strong case that his prep football career will culminate with him signing a National Letter of Intent.

TEXAS-SIZED IMPACT — Martin is coming off of a productive and breakthrough season for an upstart Lewisville team that finished the 2018 campaign with a 9-3 mark, including an impressive 6-1 record in 6A Region I District 6, second only to conference rival Flower Mound.

“Tahj has grown tremendously both on the field and off,” Geoffrey Grant said. “He’s gained a level of confidence and passion for not only his role on the team, but for the entire team itself, all while maintaining his grades academically.”

All things considered, Martin’s favorable display as a true freshmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

With so much high school football ahead of him, Martin has already garnered interests from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas.

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — Martin’s massive frame that is comprised of his standing 6-foot-3 and weighing in at 261 pounds which, to his credit, is practically equivalent of an NFL lineup.

Given the immeasurable impact he’s had thus far in his prep career, expect that list to expand much sooner than later.

“It is a dream for me (to play college football), because I am made and built for the sport of football,” Martin said. “I know that all the years I have been playing will pay off and a college scholarship would be the ultimate satisfaction of all.”

Although he did not attend any camps this past summer because of unforeseen circumstances, Martin was especially active, particularly as it relates to conditioning regularly and monitoring his weight.

“(I would typically workout) Monday and Wednesday mornings and in the afternoons, (and would take part in) cardio training on Saturdays and Sundays,” Martin said. “I also work on healthy eating habits that include making smoothies and protein snacks to build a strong muscle mass.”

DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING — A triumphant mentality certainly highlights Martin’s assortment of key attributes as a true freshman for Lewisville High’s football team.

Despite his overall body of work on and off the field, coupled with the impressive resume he’s established to this point, Martin also doesn’t shy away from the notion that no one has to persuade him not to hit the cruise control button at this point.

Not with so much prep football ahead of him.


“I performed exceptionally well (during the 2018 season), but I still have more work to do. I’ve got to work more on dropping into coverage. I have to work on that. My speed needs to improve, but with growth, I know I will get faster.” — Lewisville freshman Tahj Martin


WAITING HIS TURN — All things considered, Martin’s favorable display a true underclassmen for the Farmers has, in fact, given way to a few college scouts deeming it essential to thrust him under their radar.

A pretty wise and thorough assessment, this coming from a tender 15-year-old student athlete.

A great, big gigantic one, that is.

One whose short list of interested colleges undoubtedly is expected to expand much sooner than later.

So stay tuned.


For more information about Lewisville (Texas) High School football standout Tahj Gabriel Martin, connect with him via social media at:

Instagram: @tahjmartin12

Snaphat: tmahal_878

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tahj.martin.1

Twitter: @martin2Tahj


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you have a child or team that is seeking exposure and would like an in-depth sports news story, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him for details under “Andre T. Johnson.”

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Memphian Gregory Lofton pleading with Penny Hardaway to possess copyrights of his music

MAKING HEADLINE NEWS WELCOMES GREGORY LOFTON


As Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway prepares to begin a new era as the new University of Memphis men’s basketball coach this week when the Tigers host a sold out Memphis Madness in FedExForum, one longtime U of M faithful has something intriguing to pass along to the Bluff City hoops legend.

Longtime entertainer Gregory Lofton, a native Memphian, the CEO of Silky International Records and the mastermind behind the hit song, “Tiger Fever,” doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s determined to garner the attention of Hardaway, a former U of M star and four-time NBA All-Star.

“I want it to be known that a song by an unsigned artist and publisher is worth $250,000 per year to sample and with all monies due according to the copyright act under a master licensing agreement that covers The Penny Hardaway Show, Stadium use, performance and broadcast royalties, CD and DVD production, TV, Movies, Film, etc.,” Lofton told Making Headline News during a recent interview.

PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS — Longtime entertainer Gregory Lofton, a native Memphian, the CEO of Silky International Records and the mastermind behind the hit song, “Tiger Fever,” doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s determined to garner the attention of Hardaway, a former U of M star and four-time NBA All-Star.

“The University of Memphis, the Rebounders Club, and Highland Hundred Club know about this project, but I will not give my hard work away for exposure and season tickets,” Lofton continued. “Writing exposure instead of a dollar amount on a check will buy me nothing for my hard work.”

Lofton, meanwhile, was extremely complementary of one Mid-South radio personality, who deemed it essential to applaud his immeasurable body of work as an entertainer.

“My strongest supporter at the time I was trying to promote Tiger Fever was John ‘The Rainman’ Rainey,’ said Lofton, alluding to the sports media personality for WHBQ 56AM’s The Southern Sports Report.  If you want to know how powerful a theme song like ‘Jingle Tiger Fever’ is, talk to him.”

According to Lofton, Rainey had gone as far as to play Tiger Fever during Memphis’ NCAA Final Four run in 2008, a sequence that ended with the Tigers losing to Kansas in overtime, 75-68, in the championship game.

ANSWERING THE CALL? As Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway prepares to begin a new era as the new University of Memphis men’s basketball coach this week when the Tigers host a sold out Memphis Madness in FedExForum, one longtime U of M faithful has something intriguing to pass along to the Bluff City hoops legend. (AP Photo)

“(Rainey) used Tiger Fever to open his show and played several snit bits of it within the first hour of the show,” Lofton said.

Now with the Hardaway coaching era looming, coupled with all of the hoopla surrounding Tiger hoops, Lofton remains hopeful that the former Memphis Treadwell High star will follow Rainey’s lead and tune in to his compelling musical project.

Hardaway, 47, was hired as head coach by his alma mater on March 19, having replaced Tubby Smith, who was fired after two seasons at Memphis.

Lofton was rather forthright in his proposition to Hardaway. 

“I’m willing to transfer the rights over to you, Penny, to own it outright,” Lofton said. “You and I are North Memphis products and I support you. I only met you once when I was with Kevin Morrow.  I will do for you what I would do for the university administrators. You will own everything outright.  The whole collection promotes Memphis and the Tigers. I put my hard earned money and intellectual properties into this project and I deserve financial gratification.”

Besides Rainey, Lofton said that U of M Band Director Albert Nuguen is familiar with his popular hit that is “Tiger Fever.”

All of which is why he has extended a plea to Hardaway to strongly consider listening to what could very well become an enjoyable and fun trend for U of M sports fans.

“I was asking the one-year sampling rate of $250,000 as a buyout price that I knew they were going to try and juggle with price lowering strategies,” Lofton said. “The administration will not deal with me, because of my deep knowledge of the music industry game and knowing my worth when it comes to licensing. They will deal with (Hardaway) if (he) owns the rights in full for (his) program.”

Along with his direct proposition to Hardaway to assume copyrights of his work, Lofton is pleading with the local media to look into his music.

“The Memphis media — even though they never did a story on me — know about my work,” Lofton said.

For more information about Memphis Businessman Gregory Lofton of Silky International Records or to inquire about his music, call 901.474.9209. Also, send email to: gregorylofton@ymail.com


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Atlanta-area prep basketball standout Markus Lofton is as good as advertised as he auditions for a scholarship

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a series of reports on Berkmar High School basketball standout Markus Lofton as Making Headline News will chronicle his progress through his upcoming senior campaign. 


Making Headline News earlier this week took some time to observe YouTube footage of Atlanta-area prep basketball standout Markus Lofton.

Yep, surely, the kid who’s widely known as “The Old Soul” and “The Silent Assassin” is as good as advertised, a trend a flurry of college scouts and recruiters will likely discover in this, Lofton’s forthcoming final full year of high hoops.

“Markus first started playing basketball when he was three years old,” said Marlon Lofton, Markus’ father. “He would not leave the house without a basketball jersey, wrist bands, and head band on.”

Ever since his parents first introduced him to basketball, Markus Lofton has been nothing short of brilliant, especially on the ever-so-competitive ATL hoops circuit.

A 6-foot swingman who helped propel Greg Phillips’ Berkmar High team to a third place region mark of 16-13 finish in 2017-18, Markus Lofton figures to raise his level of play in what undoubtedly will be a crucial campaign for him.

Crucial in the sense that he knows full well that he’s auditioning for a full ride scholarship, something he’s dreamt about since, well, he first picked up a basketball at tender age of three.

“They’ve been very encouraging and uplifting,” said Markus Lofton, explaining his parents’ immeasurable impact on rise as one of Berkmar’s marquee players. “They always persuade me to follow my dreams.”

SOLID SUPPORTING CAST — For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

And following diligently after his dreams is certainly what this basketball-crazed kid has done throughout the years.

Coming off of a stellar junior campaign in which he was afforded the golden opportunity to play significant roles both of the varsity and junior varsity squads, Markus Lofton held his own and, a majority of the time, he exceeded his own expectations.

WATCH MARKUS LOFTON IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BPzdPSgVf7Y&t=2s

For starters, he manufactured an impressive scoring average last year with 16 points per game along with four rebounds, while handing out five assists while being the only Berkmar player to see action both on JV and varsity. Add to the fact that he converted 91 percent of his free throws and shot an impressive 52 percent from three-point range, and it’s no wonder he’s already fallen under the radar of a handful of major Division 1 schools.

AUDITIONS UNDERWAY — According to Markus Lofton, Baylor, Stetson, Auburn, and Clemson are amongst the schools that have expressed interest in his services.

With others likely to follow, presuming his all-around game takes a significant upgrade this upcoming season.

According to Markus Lofton, Baylor, Stetson, Auburn, and Clemson are amongst the schools that have expressed interest in his services.

“It’s been a dream since I was younger,” Markus Lofton said of the possibility of playing major college basketball. “Basketball is all that I know and have studied, so it not being a dream wasn’t an option for me.”

As he prepares for his decisive prep season, Markus’ father, too, has stressed to his son the importance of not settling for the success he enjoyed last year. Rather, he deems it essential to often remind him on the importance of increasing his productivity and leadership qualities. 

MORE OF MARKUS LOFTON IN ACTION: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=MuYCATpagZ0&t=6s 

“To whom much is given, much is required,” said Marlon Lofton, when asked what pertinent advice he often passes along his son, whose impressive basketball resume includes playing for the Georgia Tornadoes, G- Team USA and ATL Playmakers AAU squads. “I also tell him what his great grandmother told me: ‘Let the work you do, speak for you.’ I think this is why he is always in the gym. He doesn’t miss a day in the gym with his coaches or working on his game and training.”

HOOP DREAMS — For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

For what’s it worth, the Loftons are confident that given their son’s immeasurable track record on the court to date, the time and work he’s invested will surely pay off with arguably his long-awaited grand prize — a full ride scholarship, coupled with a college basketball uniform.

And everything else that comes with it.

“He is smart, witty, and wants to study Sports Management, Education, and Health outside of basketball,” said Marlon Lofton, adding that his son boasts what he deems a high IQ and exceptional wisdom. “With sports growing the way that it does, the door for him is wide open with major opportunities.

“My wife of 31 years and I believed that he loved the sport so much, he would sit and study the game, watching his older brother (Markele) who is a good player and has graduated from Georgia State University.”

DAD KNOWS BEST — “To whom much is given, much is required,” said Marlon Lofton, when asked what pertinent advice he often passes along his son, whose impressive basketball resume includes playing for the Georgia Tornadoes, G- Team USA and ATL Playmakers AAU squads. “I also tell him what his great grandmother told me: ‘Let the work you do, speak for you.’ I think this is why he is always in the gym. He doesn’t miss a day in the gym with his coaches or working on his game and training.”

If Markus Lofton’s has his way and continues to show he’s as good as advertised, the Lofton household will soon find itself going to more college basketball games in the near future.

So stay tuned.

As evidenced by all of that impressive YouTube footage of the kid who’s widely known as “The Old Soul” and “The Silent Assassin”. 


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EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the award-winning Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

Dallas/Fort Worth-area businesswoman Cherie Jordan functioning in her ‘calling’ as a Life Coach/Motivational Speaker

Photos Taken By Tiffany L. Mackey/Divine Images TM

 

And those He predestined, he also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified (Romans 8:30 NIV).

 

DALLASCherie Jordan was asked recently how her competitive drive in life has propelled her for her latest business endeavor.

TEXAS SIZED IMPACT — For Cherie Jordan, a school district administrator for the Dallas Independent School District, she doesn’t shy away from the notion that she’s being called by her Creator not just have a monumental in the education sector but, most of all, in God’s kingdom. That, after all, practically sums up why Jordan, 46, has deemed it imperative to push and promote her endeavors as a rising Life Coach/Motivational Speaker, a venture whereby her primary objective is centered, among other things, on displaying empowerment, particularly as it pertains to lifting up men and women who have been affected by tragic events, most notably domestic abuse.

And just like that, Jordan went into full testimony mode.

“My business is more of calling than a business,” Jordan told Making Headline News. “I feel that if God gives you grace to overcome a situation, you are commissioned to help someone going through the same situation.”

For Jordan, a school district administrator for the Dallas Independent School District, she doesn’t shy away from the notion that she has being called by her Creator to have a monumental impact not just in the education sector but, most of all, in God’s kingdom.

That, after all, practically sums up why Jordan, 46, has deemed it imperative to push and promote her endeavor as a rising Life Coach/Motivational Speaker, a venture whereby her primary objective is centered, among other things, on displaying empowerment, particularly as it pertains to lifting up men and women who have been affected by tragic events, most notably domestic abuse.

BUT GOD — That Jordan, a native of Morgan City, Louisiana, has endured her share of obstacles long before she ventured off into the world of motivational speaker, in her estimation, are amongst the key factors that have equipped and empowered her to operate mightily in her elements.

“My main focus is to promote self-love and self-worth to increase my client’s self-esteem,” Jordan said.

For what it’s worth and much to her delight, Jordan is thoroughly convinced that she has been strategically handpicked by God to function in such a commendable and ever-so-competitive industry for such a time as now.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — A graduate of Morgan City (Louisiana) High School, Jordan holds an undergraduate degree from Grambling State University.

Interestingly, she’s especially grateful of the fact she’s routinely afforded the golden opportunity to enrich and impact lives — one life at a time.

“I feel gratified to have helped someone,” Jordan said. “I am the person I wish I had in my life.”

That Jordan, a native of Morgan City, Louisiana, has endured — and conquered — her share of obstacles long before she ventured off into the world of motivational speaker, in her estimation, are amongst the key factors that have equipped and empowered her to operate mightily in her elements.

And to the fact that she’s been set aside for God’s use at this present stage in her career, and it’s no wonder that it’s safe to assume that her best and brightest days in her currently endeavor are well ahead of her.

MAKING IMMEASURABLE STRIDES — For what it’s worth and much to her delight, Jordan is thoroughly convinced that she has been strategically handpicked by God to function in such a commendable and ever-so-competitive industry for such a time as now.

“(I am determined to go out and) empower, uplift, and motivate men and women who have experienced hardships due to toxic relationships or tragic events,” Jordan said. “To be honest, it was my faith and my constant search for my purpose that inspired me.”

A graduate of Morgan City (Louisiana) High School, Jordan holds an undergraduate degree from Grambling State University and Master’s degree from Texas A&M at Commerce.

To her credit, she has been a full fledge  Life Coach/Motivational Speaker for approximately two years and, according to longtime educator, she working earnestly at working full-time in this industry.

And not just work full-time in it. But she’s destined to have a constant impact, all the while savoring sustained success in the process.

“It is my purpose to inspire someone,” said Jordan, who’s soon to release a book in the coming months. “I believe the world would embody more hope if people had a reason to live and they understood that life gets better after. After whatever brought them down. It is not designed to keep you down, but to make you better. And once you get better, you help the next person. It then becomes a cycle and people would have hope to live.

“I hope someone will take the leap and contact me today,” Jordan continued. “Life coaching has the stigmatism of someone being crazy and it’s not the case. We all at some time in our life needed help organizing our thoughts and our direction. As we work together, we will create attainable goals step by step.”

 

For more information about Dallas/Fort Worth-area Life Coach/Motivational Speaker Cherie Jordan or to schedule her for a speaking engagement, connect with her via Facebook under: Cherie Jordan. Also, email her at: coachcheriej@gmail.com.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter of sports the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

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Accomplished Chicago Sports Psychotherapist Natalie Graves’ private practice becoming a fixture for professional athletes

Natalie Graves owns a Chicago-based mental health therapy practice, one that much to her delight, is steadily attracting a national presence.  

SAVORING THE FRUITS OF LABOR — Chicago-based Sports Psychotherapist Natalie Graves, 47, the founder and chief executive officer of Natalie Graves Athletic Counseling, has worked tirelessly to help construct her practice to what it has become to this very day: one that undoubtedly turning heads, particularly throughout the world of professional sports.

For that very reason, her practice is starting to attract exposure through the mainstream media, a trend to which Graves essentially is trying to become accustomed.

“Sounds good,” Graves told Making Headline News during a weekend interview when word spread of her latest coverage through the media. “I’m nervous.”

While Graves admittedly was gripped with a few jitters, the mere fact that she is garnering the exposure she deserves is surely warranted.

Amongst the reasons is that Graves, 47, the founder and chief executive officer of Natalie Graves Athletic Counseling, has worked tirelessly to help construct her practice to what it has become to this very day — one that is undoubtedly turning heads, particularly throughout the world of professional sports.  

A Chicago-based private practice that Graves established in 2012 and is located at 155 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 633Graves boasts a wealth of experience in the social work industry, considering her expertise spans close to two decades.

Not only that, Natalie Graves Athletic Counseling is widely regarded as a credible venture, in large part because Graves specializes in working with athletes, most notably those who are hampered by an assortment of challenges on and off the field.

MORE ON NATALIE GRAVES ATHLETIC COUNSELING: www.nataliegraves.com 

“The service I provide to athletes is unique in that not only do I focus on improving performance, my perspective also considers factors like family structure, social economic-status, ethnic and cultural diversity,” Graves explained. “I gain a complete profile of the person I am working with.  As a clinical social worker, I view athletes in a holistically way. It is important to understand all aspects of the individual. This is even more important with athletes.”

Interestingly, Graves witnessed her immeasurable body of work soar to immense heights when, just last month, she was on hand in New York, during which she was afforded the golden opportunity to consult with the NBA 2K League representatives on a variety of topics centered on the health and the overall wellness of their players.

THE NBA…WHERE AMAZING HAPPENS — Interestingly, Graves witnessed her immeasurable body of work soar to immense heights when just last month, she was on hand in New York, during which she was afforded the golden opportunity to consult with the NBA 2K League representatives on a variety of topics centered on the health and the overall wellness of their players.

Talk about basking in the glory of her element on one of professional sports largest stages.

CHECK OUT GRAVES’ 1 IN 4 PROJECT: www.1in4project.org; Twitter: @1n4project

“I want to be viewed as a sports psychotherapist, a sports social worker, or therapist who specializes in working with athletes,” said Graves, adding that amongst her primary objectives is to give athletes with what she labels the winning edge or, as she specifically puts it, changing the face of sport psychology. “That’s my thing…being a girl in boy’s world of sports and helping athletes win.”

DESTINED FOR GREATNESS — A Chicago-based private practice that Graves established in 2012 and is located at 155 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 633, Graves boasts a wealth of experience in the social work industry, considering her expertise spans close to two decades.

Credit her profound passion for sports and, most importantly, her commitment to helping people from various walks of life as the key factors that have greatly inspired Graves to connect with her God-given purpose.

“I have always loved helping people and I grew up watching sports,” Graves said. “You could call me a sports fanatic. What is special about my practice is that I get to combine my two loves. Assisting athletes to overcome obstacles that have impacted their game gives me such a high.

“Oftentimes, when athletes first come to see me, they have never worked with a therapist before,” Graves continued. “The best feeling in the world is when someone says to me, ‘I feel better,’ or their coaches see a change in their performance. That never gets old. It’s so inspiring.”

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — Having earned a Bachelor’s degree from the historic Chicago State University, Graves received her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

To her credit, Graves has certainly put in the work to be able to function mightily in her element for such a time as now.

Having earned a Bachelor’s degree from the historic Chicago State University, Graves received her Master’s degree from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

Consequently, she was a visiting student at the University of Maryland, where she studied abroad in the United Kingdom, where she became knowledgeable in the Sports, Commerce, not to mention the Culture in the Global Marketplace Program.

Interestingly, Graves completed an Addictions Studies Program at City Colleges of Chicago Kennedy-King College.

“I have been very fortunate that I have been able to travel through speaking engagements all over the United States and as far as to England and France,” said Graves, adding that her parents and husband headline her solid supporting cast. “My mentor, Greg Harden of the University of Michigan, has been very impactful in my professional life. He was the first social worker that I found that was working directly with athletes. Seeing what he did reinforced that I could make a career in sports.”

A TRUE SPORT — Credit her profound passion for sports and, most importantly, helping people from various walks of life as the key factors that have greatly inspired Graves to connect with her God-given purpose.

The rest, as they say, was history.

Today, unlike never before, Graves is not only savoring the fruits of her labor as an accomplished sports psychotherapist, but she’d be the first to admit that she’s literally having fun with it.

Which, fortunately for her, was all a part of God’s plan all along.

“My story started when I was a young girl, growing up in Chicago,” Graves recalled. “I remember rushing home from church to watch the (Chicago) Bears and Bulls games. That was our thing as a family. We watched Chicago sports together. My dad taught me the rules of the game and I loved it. As I got older, I started not just following football and basketball, I developed an interest in all sports.”

A trend that has ultimately given way to her basking in the glory of her element on one of professional sports largest stages.

Ask the NBA 2K League crew.

 

For more information about Chicago-based Sports Psychotherapist Natalie Graves of Natalie Graves Athletic Counseling, call 773.294.3903. Also, connect with her via:

Website: www.nataliegraves.com

Email: socialworkandsports@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook/Nataliethesocialworker

Blog: nataliethesocialworker.blogspot.com

Twitter: @natalie_graves1 

 

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

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Arkansas prep basketball player Bryanna Sharp a nominee for TAP Youth Perseverance Award amid Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis

I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time. (Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT)

 

For what it’s worth, the way Bryanna Sharp’s faith walk is set up, she is determined to see the hurdles about which she’s had to clear from God’s perspective.

VICTORIOUS REGARDLESS — To her credit, coupled with the unyielding support of her family and friends, 17-year-old Bryanna Sharp has made favorable strides since her unlikely diagnosis as a diabetic. It is, by all accounts, because of her glass-half-full approach and bend-but-don’t-break faith that Sharp has been named one of nine nominees for the Perseverance Award in the upcoming inaugural TAP Youth Awards in Jonesboro.

Consider, for instance, how some seven-plus years ago, Sharp, a varsity basketball player at Nettleton High School in Jonesboro, Arkansas, had to stomach the news of her having been diagnosed with  Diabetes mellitus, a development that sent shock waves throughout her family as well as amongst those with whom she is closely connected.

“(My diagnosis) has molded me to become a stronger, wiser, and more humble young lady,” Sharp, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said of her condition, which is widely known as type 1 diabetes (or T1D).

To her credit, coupled with the unyielding support of her family and friends, the 17-year-old Sharp has made favorable strides since her unlikely diagnosis as a diabetic. It is, by all accounts, because of her glass-half-full approach and bend-but-don’t-break faith that Sharp has been named one of nine nominees for the Perseverance Award in the upcoming inaugural TAP Youth Awards in Jonesboro.

AIMING HIGH — All things considered, Sharp, a senior at Nettleton, doesn’t shy away from the notion that whether she wins the Perseverance Award or not, she’s still clinging to lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level and doesn’t sense her diabetic diagnosis will reduce her effectiveness to thrive as a student athlete.

An event that was organized by Jonesboro-area public speaker and award-winning author Terrell Jenkins and is will take place on March 17, the TAP Youth Awards will acknowledge individuals in a variety of categories for their hard work and valiant contributions to the community.

A devoted student-athlete who is heavily involved in ministry at Church of the Living God Temple 98, where she is the youth announcer as well as a member of the youth choir and the adult praise team, Sharp said it would be extremely gratifying to come away with an award for which she steadfastly is living up to the name it bears — perseverance.

VOTE HERE FOR BRYANNA SHARP, Y’ALL: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GbKX8Q_b1xCEW5a7PJu08hYlTrZ2M3bWddfKS5ZdK9g/edit?c=0&w=1

FINISH THE FIGHT — Sharp acknowledged that her primary focus is to finish out her final year of high school on a solid note and, of course, send up fervent prayers that she comes away with an award that would greatly jumpstart her own unique path.

“It would be wonderful to win this award, because not only (would) I be accepting an awesome award, but I’ll also be the first person in my family to receive an award like this. I have been in the path of my sisters for years, so an award (of this magnitude) would give me a chance to start my own path.”

All things considered, Sharp, a senior at Nettleton, doesn’t shy away from the notion that whether she wins the Perseverance Award or not, she’s still clinging to lofty aspirations of playing basketball at the collegiate level. Interestingly, she doesn’t sense her diabetic diagnosis will reduce her effectiveness to thrive as a student athlete.

“I really would love to play basketball on the next level,” Sharp, a three-year letterman, said. “I have been playing and watching my three sisters play during high school and college.  So now I’m near that moment to play at the next level. I’m just overly excited.

GOD AND HOOPS — A devoted student-athlete who is heavily involved in ministry at Church of the Living God Temple, where she is the youth announcer as well as a member of the youth choir and the adult praise team, Sharp said it would be extremely gratifying to come away with award for which she steadfastly is living up to the name it bears — perseverance.

“My dream is to play college basketball like my sisters. If the Lord says the same, I have always told my mother I would love to play for the WNBA.”

In meantime, though, Sharp acknowledged that her primary focus is to finish out her final year of high school on a solid note and, of course, send up fervent prayers that she comes away with an award that would greatly jumpstart her own unique path.

“My thanks to God would be even more sincere,” said Sharp, when asked what would being named the Perseverance Award winner do for her faith walk moving forward. “My faith with God is strong already, because He has brought me through my storms during times when I wanted to give up, because of my condition. So at this point, I know I can do nothing without Him, but can do everything with Him.”

For what it’s worth, the way her faith walk is set up, she is determined to see the hurdles about which she’s had to clear from God’s perspective.

Talk about pure perseverance.

 

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the Founder and Publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or makingheadlinenews@gmail.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

 

 

Former Arena Football star Johnny Loper a candidate in seven categories in DeSoto Times-Tribune’s Best 2017

There’s no other way to put it.

Johnny Loper has always been a team player.

AND THE WINNER IS — A native of Waynesboro, Mississippi and the owner of Jay Lo Fitness in Olive Branch, Mississippi, Johnny Loper’s notable entrepreneurship resume appropriately found its way on a much larger platform, considering he has been nominated as a finalist in seven categories in the upcoming “DeSoto Times-Tribune’s Best 2017” awards ceremony. A former Arena Football League star, Loper is pictured with his wife, Weslynne Loper.

Surely, he was a team player during his football playing days, most notably for Wayne County High, South Carolina State University, as well as during his stellar career in the Arena Football League.

To his distinctly unique credit, even after calling it a playing career, Loper has gone to great lengths to demonstrate the proverbial team player concept, especially as a thriving, progressive entrepreneur.

A native of Waynesboro, Mississippi and the owner of Jay Lo Fitness in Southaven, Mississippi, Loper’s notable entrepreneurship resume appropriately found its way on a much larger platform, considering he has been nominated as a finalist in seven categories in the upcoming “DeSoto Times-Tribune’s Best 2017” awards ceremony.

Voting for nominees began on December 11 and runs through January 11, 2018.

A competition that is comprised of approximately 200 categories, voters will be allowed to cast their ballots on an assortment of categories, most notably their favorites in food and drink, automotive, shopping, services, community, health, and beauty and fitness, among others. The votes will determine the best of the best in DeSoto County, the third-most populous county in Mississippi with a population of 161,252, according to the latest U. S. census.

VOTE HERE FOR JOHNNY LOPER, Y’ALL: http://desotosbest.com/best-of-desoto-times/

For Loper, 41, a fitness guru whose experience spans more than 20 years, he has been named a nominee in seven categories: Best Gym And Fitness Center, Best Place To Sweat, Best Personal Trainer, Best Zumba Class, Best Yoga Class (DwiPada Yoga), Best Spin Class, and Best Facebook Page.

ALL AMERICAN BUSINESS OWNER — For Loper, 41, a fitness guru whose experience spans more than 20 years, he has been named a nominee in seven categories: Best Gym And Fitness Center, Best Place To Sweat, Best Personal Trainer, Best Zumba Class, Best Yoga Class (DwiPada Yoga), Best Spin Class, and Best Facebook Page.

“This is not about me at all,” Loper, during an interview this week with Making Headline News, said when asked what’s so intriguing about his latest array of honors. “This is totally about the team of people that trust us to keep them inspired while keeping the gift of health affordable. I’m praying that the recognition we receive for being champions for our community inspire others to go after their passion with a purpose drive mindset.”

Located at 1310B Goodman Road Southaven, Mississippi, Jay Lo Fitness is widely known as a brand that demonstrates love, unity, diversity, opportunity and hope, Loper explained.

In addition, its fitness and nutrition entities are deemed a “small fraction” for what Jay Lo Fitness stands for. Interestingly, Loper’s venture offers fitness, nutrition, youth sports training, Zumba and dance, spin, yoga and motivational speaking seminars.

MORE ON JAY LO FITNESS: https://jaylo8.wixsite.com/jaylofitness

All things considered, Loper doesn’t away from the notion that his business would not have enjoyed sustained success if not for the valiant, unyielding support of his wife and featured team player, Weslynne Loper.

The couple has two children, both of whom are student athletes (Seven-year-old JT Loper and five-year-old Jalynne Loper).

“My wife’s support has been everything to our success,” Johnny Loper said. “This process has not been easy, and there have been a lot of sleepless nights. Our faith never wavered, and (it means a lot) to hear her say, ‘Just keep going, Johnny… ‘Do you believe in what you doing Johnny? Well Just Keep Going.’”

Long before he became an entrepreneurial success, Loper was a multi-sport athlete at Wayne County High, most notably in football, which ultimately led to him signing a National Letter of Intent to play at South Carolina State.

MAD SKILLS — Long before he became an entrepreneurial success, Loper was a multi-sport athlete at Wayne County High, most notably in football, which ultimately led to him signing a National Letter of Intent to play at South Carolina State University.

His collegiate stint was highlighted by him earning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference All Conference honors as a kick and punt returner, as well as being named the team’s Most Valuable Player for his position three times.

For what it’s worth, Loper emphasized that his past athletic success, in some aspects, has brought about a solid competitive drive, or sorts, as a longtime and accomplished business owner.

“Being competitive in sports is a lot different than being competitive in business,” Loper said. “In my sports, it was just using my talents and gifts that I was given in order to get to a certain point in my life. In my business, it’s all about now fulfilling my purpose in life and that’s to serve and inspire others.

RETURNING THE FAVOR — To his credit, Loper not only has inspired countless individuals with whom he has crossed paths through his business but, for his immeasurable efforts, it seem they are destined to extend to him a vote of thanks — by way of the forthcoming “DeSoto Times-Tribune’s Best 2017.”

To his credit, Loper not only has inspired countless individuals with whom he has crossed paths through his business but, for his immeasurable efforts, it seems they are destined to extend to him a vote of thanks — by way of the forthcoming “DeSoto Times-Tribune’s Best 2017.”

“Being a leader in this community, it’s very important that we keep doing what we are doing, because the importance of fitness is being lost with the ‘I’ mentality,” said Loper, who has business-related event scheduled in Jackson, Mississippi on January 13. “With the help of social media, there are so many fitness experts, motivational speakers, and look at me…I’m fit (for those) type of trainers. I feel that the people that struggle with weight loss, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and comparison, leave most people feeling like failures. Therefore this person would rather not even try, because no one likes to feel defeated.”

By and large, through Jay Lo Fitness, everyone wins, Loper acknowledged.

“What I’m most grateful about today are all the people that have allowed me to continue building Jay Lo Fitness while at the same time being a husband and a hands-on dad with my kids,” Loper said.

Yep, there’s no other way to put it.

Johnny Loper has always been a team player.

 

JOHNNY LOPER’S NOTABLE ACCOLADES 

Published Author of book,  “Fired Up, Ready To Go”

Nike Contract for Eight Years

Featured as Memphis’ Fox 13 and News Channel 3 Fitness Expert (2005- through 2013)

Member of Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce

Keynote Speaker for Desoto County Business Women’s Association (two years in a row)

AdvoCare’s Rising Star Award

Four-time winner of Desoto County  Best “Personal Trainer Award”

Producer of Jay Lo Fitness Express Workout DVD

Starred in Advocare Nutrition Can U 24 Workout DVD

Pinnacle Professional Member in Who’s Who in Health And Wellness

Featured in New York ICE Magazine as one of the top Fitness Professionals in America

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, athlete, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.

Andre Johnson is the Founder and Publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or makingheadlinenews@gmail.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Baltimore area entrepreneur/investor Manny Gathers aiming to have a global impact through his professional track and field league

Just after 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, Manny Gathers staged to his Facebook timeline some pretty compelling information regarding professional sports entertainment rankings.

Surprisingly, track and field was amongst the 19 sports listed on the chart.

With a No. 3 ranking being rated “Excellent” and No. 1 ranking being rated “Poor,” track and field, as it turned out, ranked near the bottom of the pack with three No. 1’s. Nevertheless, there is a silver lining and it is called American League Track & Field.

According to Gathers, ALTF has corrected all of the issues that traditional track and field faces today. “ALTF is supreme and is the solution to elevating this Globally Recognized Sport to its rightful position,” Gathers said. 

All things considered, credit Gathers and his staff for playing some of favorable role to what undoubtedly is an ongoing upward trend, considering track and field figures to remain one of the world’s most popular sports.

An accomplished Baltimore-area entrepreneur and investor, Gathers is the mastermind by behind organizing what he describes as a “uniquely designed” Professional Track And Field League.

Widely regarded as the first of its kind, Gathers said this is the first and only professional sports league that is comprised of men and women teammates, an up-and-coming league in which many of these athletes have a share in ownership and revenue.

“(We’re) the first to have passive, fractional ownership of each team which allows middle-class investors to participate,” Gathers told Making Headline News during a weekend interview.

Interesting enough, this track and field organization is the first to consolidate sponsors’ contracts into a single, short-term agreement model, Gathers said.

“I enjoy being able to meet, work with and served people of various backgrounds the most,” said Gathers, explaining what he admires the most about a uniquely distinct business he hopes will attract more of a global presence in the foreseeable future. “Being able to be a part of a diverse team is a rewarding experience.”

SOLID SUPPORTING CAST — “My personal mission is to successfully bring track and field to life as a professional sport,” said Gathers, who acknowledged that he was inspired to organize the league by Ernest Lindo, whom he deems the Author and Founder of this business model. “By doing that, we will be creating thousands of job opportunities, a new shared ownership model, and more financial good for the communities in which we will operate.”

What’s even more intriguing is that this league strives diligently to attract talented athletes from various levels, most notably former high school and college athletes, or those who have a solid past resume in this internationally-acclaimed sport.

“As far as athletes goes, we will attract and hire graduates from the high school and collegiate levels to participate in the sport,” Gathers said.

A league that is steadily devising ways to generate more exposure, it seems that this organization is starting to become a fixture for those who have a fond interest in track and field.

Spectators included.

“Because of our unique capital raising model and debt mitigation strategies, we will draw families to our events,” said Gathers, adding that ticket prices will typically range in the neighborhood of less than $35 for regular seating — VIP seats are also available, he said — which will make his organization’s events affordable for fans and other groups. “Imagine being able to bring your babies and entire family to a professional sporting event because of affordable ticket prices.”

A native of Eutawville, South Carolina, Gathers served more than 20 years of active duty in the Marine Corps and also boasts experience in mid-level management by way of the ever-so-competitive Corporate America industry.

It is due in large part, he said, to his solid experience as an accomplished businessman that has contributed mightily in his latest venture.

“I have been conditioned to manage complex operations, high-valued budgets, and people management,” said Gathers, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Operations and an MBA Degree in Business Management from the University of Maryland University College. “My life experiences and world travels have allowed me to interact with people from various backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. Strong interpersonal skills have prepared me for this next chapter of my life.”

Extensive traveling both in the military and his selected profession have greatly aided him as well.

“I have traveled around the world a couple of times and have lived in multiple countries and states within the USA,” Gathers said.

As for his mission for electing to organize an athletic venture of this magnitude, well, his primary objective is simple.

MAKING MAJOR MOVES — An accomplished Baltimore area entrepreneur and investor, Manny Gathers is the mastermind by behind organizing what he describes as a “uniquely designed” Professional Track And Field League. Widely regarded as the first of its kind, Gathers said this is the first and only professional sports league that is comprised of men women teammates, a league in which many of whom of the athletes have a share in ownership and revenue.

“My personal mission is to successfully bring track and field to life as a professional sport,” said Gathers, who acknowledged that he was inspired to organize the league by Ernest Lindo, whom he deems the Author and Founder of this business model. “By doing that, we will be creating thousands of job opportunities, a new shared ownership model, and more financial good for the communities in which we will operate.

As for the notable forthcoming additions and changes with this organization, Gathers said a number of projects are presently in the works as he and his staff continues to upgrade and enhance their brand.

“We have recently begun collaborating with the Black Men United Organization and plan on conducting strategic think-tank events to attract the brightest and ideal Leaders to run the business,” Gathers said. “Our primary goal is to target credible celebrities and business owners that share our belief that we can build a successful business model that will provide family entertainment once again, financial and business education, and wealth creation for generations to come.”

“Track and field is the oldest known sport in the world,” Gathers added. “It is popular in America and internationally. How bad do you want it is the question. When asked, ‘Manny, what is it that you need to make this thing work?’ I simply say, ‘connections’…introduce me to Colin Kaepernick, Usain Bolt, T.I., Olympic Medalists or any respectable Star that can help give birth to this Game-Changing idea.’”

For more information about Manny Gathers and his professional track and field organization, email Manny Gathers at manny@bestmoneystrategies.com. Also, contact Manny via his website www.bestmoneystrategies.com

 

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Andre Johnson is Founder and Publisher for Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former reporter of sports for the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send email to andre@makingheadlinenews.com or to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.