Tag Archives: College Bowl Games

Texas prep football player Elijah E. Harvey: ‘I just don’t wanna stop playing after high school’

CRUNCH TIME AUDITION 

LOFTY GOALS — The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Elijah Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.

DALLAS — Just recently, Elijah Harvey was asked to assess the overall landscape of his performance as a member of the Calhoun High football program.

As usual, he was rather forthright and straight to the point.
“I think I’ve done pretty good since the coaches switched me from linebacker to outside linebacker for last season,” Harvey told Making Headline News this week.
For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.
The catalyst of a Sandcrab offensive unit as one of the team’s featured rushers, Harvey said his primary focus is centered largely on helping to propel Calhoun to a region title and, most importantly, a lengthy postseason run.
The Sandcrabs enjoyed a 10-4 campaign last year, which ended in a 48–17 loss to district rival Calallen in the region final in San Antonio.
ON THE CLOCK — Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopeful a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday night’s region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season.

That’s because Harvey admittedly is auditioning for the chance to play football at the collegiate level. He especially remains hopeful he does the necessary things that would subsequently draw the attention of scouts and recruiters.

Surely, there’s still a lot of football left to play, although he’s approaching every week as if he’s got something to prove.

In actuality, he does. And he knows it.

“Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning,” said Harvey, alluding to his arguably his crucial days of the week during which he enhances his conditioning schedule.

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik also is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

“When he was small, he used to carry a football are a basketball everywhere he go,” Leonard Harvey recalled. “When he was five years old, what we have called CCYFL is like Pop Warner. I knew he was good, but as a parent, you always think your kid is good.”

The more Elijah’s parents began to sign him up to play at the competitive level, the more his football mechanics were noticed by people outside of the Harvey household.


“When other people start telling you how special your kid, is my first response was (I was) happy that he found something he loves so early in life,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s football skills. “But then as a parent, I was scared every game, hoping and praying he doesn’t get hurt.”


All things considered, placing his son on field has been a risk worth taking, in large part because as far as Elijah is concerned, he simply could go on without football.

Now we know why, given he diligently boasts lofty aspirations of playing beyond high school.

So far, so good for this multi-sport athlete who, much to his delight, has drawn interest from at least school: Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown, Texas.


FOR STARTERS

According Harvey’s father, Leonard Harvey, he sensed that dating back to his son’s amateur playing days, he was destined to go a long ways on the gridiron.

Could other schools come calling with so much football left to play, with so much more to prove by a kid who’s been playing competitive football for nearly all of his young life?

“(They will be getting a) hard-working player who’s always ready to practice and have fun,” said Elijah Harvey, when asked what kind of player would a college inherit if it extends to him an offer. “I’m as serious as I can be and I will be ready for any moment they need me in.”

Besides playing on the amateur circuit years ago, Elijah’s older brother, Malik, is amongst a few fellow family members who have inspired him to stick with football.

With Calhoun carrying a 2-1 mark into Friday region opener at Gregory-Portland, Harvey also doesn’t shy away from the notion that this undoubtedly is a crucial time in his final prep season. (Photo by Kellie Whitaker)

Fortunately for Elijah, he’s certainly got time — six more regular season games and hopefully a satisfactory postseason run, to put it more precisely — to emerge as a late bloomer amongst college scouts, this after a summer in which his schedule did not allow for him to attend any football camps.

“I always tell him that there is no limit and that anything is possible,” Leonard Harvey said of his son’s display to this point. “I tell him he can do anything and that he has to work for it, has to be coachable.”

Especially long before Friday nights under the lights.


For Harvey, a speedy 5-foot-10, 215-pound senior, he’s certainly proven to be an integral part of a Calhoun defensive unit that has emerged amongst Texas 5A-2 Region IV District 15’s finest.

“(I tell him) when others are at home watching games, you have to be outside practicing, getting better, always wanting to get better and never being satisfied where you are.”

Talk about being rather forthright and straight to the point to his son, a kid who boasts a never-say-die attitude on and off the field, a trend he’s confident some college program will ultimately embrace.

“I love the game,” Eiljah Harvey said. “I just don’t wanna stop after high school. I wanna see how long I can keep this going for myself. Everything about it, I know I can do it, so why stop now when I can prove myself to more people?”


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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.

Winners BBQ has been nothing short of remarkable since its 2015 Dallas/Fort Worth inception


“The highest human act is to inspire.”Late superstar rapper Nipsey Hussle


WINNER’S CIRCLE 

DOING IT BIG IN TEXAS — A former Iowa State football standout, DeAndre Jackson had ultimately delved off into the ever-so-competitive world of entrepreneurship as the proud founder of Winners BBQ, a family-owned restaurant that has established three franchises since its inception in 2015.

DUNCANVILLE, Texas — If there’s one thing that DeAndre Jackson has learned as a former athlete, it’s how to make good on a seemingly unfavorable situation.

Consider, for instance, how when Jackson’s bid to land on an NFL roster spot fell short amid a career-ending ACL injury, he diligently had become resourceful in that he miraculously found his niche, both as an athletic trainer and real estate agent.
Much to his delight, things for the Garland, Texas native would only get better.
A former Iowa State standout, Jackson had ultimately delved off into the ever-so-competitive world of entrepreneurship as the proud founder of Winners BBQ, a family-owned restaurant that has established three franchises since its inception in 2015.

MORE ON WINNERS BBQ: https://www.facebook.com/winnersbbq/

https://m.facebook.com/winnersbbqaustin/

THEY ARE LIT — Winners BBQ, in fact, has become a fixture throughout North Texas, in large part because consumers have come to enjoy — and embrace — its delectable meat plates, meat by the pound, its assortment of sandwiches, not to mention its smoked turkey legs, as well as its distinctly unique meat loaded potato that’s famously deemed “The G.O.AT.”

Winners BBQ’s original location is housed at 3200 14th Street in nearby Plano. A popular Dallas/Fort Worth restaurant that Jackson owns along with his cousin, Tevin Jackson, Tevin’s wife, former University of Texas and professional track and field star Nichole Denby-Jackson, Winners BBQ has since added two locations — one in Cedar Hill and in Austin.

Following what the Jacksons described as “massive success” of the Plano location, DeAndre opened Winners BBQ Cedar Hill in 2017, and in less than three months ago, Nichole, Tevin, and Nichole’s sister, Nichale,  opened the Austin location. 

For DeAndre Jackson and Co., it’s been all good ever since.


RED ZONE EFFICIENCY 

To their credit, the Jacksons have gone to great lengths to form what has become an All-Star lineup of Winners BBQ CEOs.

“We pride ourselves on bringing flavorful craft BBQ with having a one-of-a-kind menu and delivering exceptional customer service,” Nichole Denby-Jackson told Making Headline News this week.

Winners BBQ, in fact, has become a fixture throughout North Texas, in large part because consumers have come to enjoy — and embrace — its delectable meat plates, meats by the pound, its assortment of sandwiches, not to mention its smoked turkey legs, as well as its distinctly unique meat loaded potato that’s famously deemed “The G.O.AT.”

Following what the Jacksons described as “massive success” of the Plano location, DeAndre opened Winners BBQ Cedar Hill in 2017, and in less than three months ago, Nichole, Tevin, and Nichole’s sister, Nichale,  opened the Austin location. For DeAndre Jackson and Co., it’s been all good ever since.

And then there are Winners BBQ’s mouth-watering sides and its kids menu, not to mention its sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and its flavor-packed dry rub, which takes all of its smoked meats to “another level of flavor,” DeAndre Jackson acknowledged.

Interestingly, Winners BBQ has earned mentions in a slew of food publications, trends that have given way to this star-studded restaurant chain having garnered a host of food awards and magazine honors.


“As high profile collegiate and professional athletes, we are highly competitive by nature and this competitiveness and drive spill over into every faucet of our lives,” DeAndre Jackson explained. “Sports is what we all have in common, and the discipline, dedication, perseverance, mental toughness, sacrifice, motivation, and determination that athletics have instilled in us has taught us very valuable life lessons and how to never quit, no matter what curve balls life throw your way.”


To their credit, the Jacksons have gone to great lengths to form what has become an All-Star lineup of Winners BBQ CEOs.

Surely, their competitive drive as former athletes has contributed mightily to their sustained entrepreneurship success.

For starters, DeAndre and Tevin Jackson, both were legitimate hopeful to land NFL contracts before injuries reduced their effectiveness, thus bringing their careers to unceremoniously ends.

ON A MISSION — As for the Jacksons’ mission for having delved off into entrepreneurship, what it all boils down, they said, is devising ways to leave a legacy for their children — and their children’s children.

Both, in fact, had sustained torn ACL’s, and were forced to tackle — and sack — what they label as the “real world” for the first time in a long time.

And then there was Nichole, a Los Angeles native, who was the catalyst of Texas’ track and field program that captured a national championship before she enjoyed a professional stint with Nike and Adidas that spanned a decade.

Interestingly, Nichole maintained a top-10 world ranking and represented the U. S. on its World Championship Team, as well as served as an alternate on the U. S. Olympic team.

Winners BBQ’s original location is housed at 3200 14th Street in nearby Plano. A popular Dallas/Fort Worth restaurant that Jackson owns along with his cousin, Tevin Jackson, and Tevin’s wife, former University of Texas and professional track and field star Nichole Denby-Jackson, Winners BBQ has since added two locations — one in Cedar Hill and in Austin.

As for the Jacksons’ mission for having delved off into entrepreneurship, what it all boils down, they said, is devising ways to leave a legacy for their children — and their children’s children.

“My personal mission is to be able to pass down something for my children to own and start them off at an even better place in life than I was,” Nichole said. “I would also love to use my platform to motivate and inspire others, whether that be on speaking panels, through a published book, public appearances, and various events or seminars.

“Another mission is to have enough financial freedom for me to give back to many communities through charitable acts of kindness and build water wells in certain parts of Africa for those without clean water,” Nichole added. “We are all big on philanthropy and are big advocates for our community.”

DeAndre and Tevin Jackon both were legitimate hopeful to land NFL contracts before injuries reduced their effectiveness, thus bringing their careers to unceremoniously end. Both, in fact, sustained torn ACL’s, and were both forced to tackle — and sack — the real world for the first time in a long time.

In addition, the Jacksons announced strategic plans to create what they call the “WINspiration Foundation,” an organization that would allow them to display their notable philanthropy efforts.

“Something that I learned from the late great Nipsey Hussle is that the highest human act is to inspire,” Nichole said. “If I can use my platform to reach at least one person — I would love to inspire many — I would be happy.”

Said DeAndre Jackson: “It is important to pass down knowledge and wisdom to better those around you and make them want to become the best versions of themselves and to be able to pass down and instill these things in the next generation which will pick up the baton as it will be their turn to run the world.”

Just as the Jacksons are presently doing as successful entrepreneurs — this after having made good on seemingly unfavorable situations.

Talk about true Winners.


For more information about Texas entrepreneurs DeAndre Jackson, Nichole Denby-Jackson, Tevin Jackson and Nichale of Winners BBQ, call 972.424-2400 (Plano), 205.572-0256 (Cedar Hill), 512.861.5066 (Austin), or connect with Winners BBQ via Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/winnersbbq/


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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-area athlete Seth Texada aiming to increase his recruiting stock when he suits up for Grapevine High in 2017

DALLAS — Ricky Texada pastors arguably one of the most advanced, prosperous churches in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

That, by all accounts, means he’s pretty efficient and knowledge of the written word of God.

Interesting enough, when it comes to the athletic talents of his son, local prep athlete Seth Ryan Texada, Ricky Texada is one who can assess his son’s skills and mechanics with the best of them.

“Seth first played organized flag football at nine years (of age),” Ricky Texada, the Campus Pastor of Covenant Church of Colleyville, Texas, told Making Headline News this week. “He was very instinctive in route running, catching and defending. His speed was two-to-three steps faster than everyone on the field. He began playing (competitive) football in the fifth grade.”

 

FULL FAMILY SUPPORTGiven his immense strides and considerable progress he’s made in recent years, Seth Texada (No. 12) is seemingly making a strong case that he’s destined to put his athletic skills on display at the collegiate level in the coming years. A speedy 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back who emerged as the catalyst for a Grapevine Faith Christian team that ended the 2016 season with a seven-game undefeated streak and a Texas private school state championship, if nothing else, Seth Texada only increased his recruiting stock as he prepares to make the lofty transition to public schools competition next year. Having played for a Grapevine Christian team that was ranked No. 79 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Seth Texada will suit up next season for nearby Grapevine High.

Given the immense strides and considerable progress he’s made in recent years, Seth Texada is seemingly making a strong case that he’s destined to put his athletic skills on display at the collegiate level in the coming years.

A speedy 5-foot-6, 155-pound running back who emerged as the catalyst for a Grapevine Faith Christian team that ended the 2016 season with a seven-game undefeated streak and a Texas private school state championship, if nothing else, Seth Texada only increased his recruiting stock as he prepares to make the lofty transition to public schools competition next year.

Having played for a Grapevine Christian team that was ranked No. 79 in Texas by Maxpreps.com, Seth Texada will suit up next season for nearby Grapevine High.

RUN SETH, RUN: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGcvxLhYzrU.

As he tells it, he certainly welcomes what undoubtedly will be a monumental challenge as a newcomer to a Mustang team that ended the 2016 campaign with an impressive 10-2 finish and advanced to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

“I had to make the most of every touch since I played behind (All-State running back) Keyshawn Wyatt,” said Seth Texada, assessing his overall performance this past season. “I kept the chains moving.”

Most importantly, this multi-sport athlete was as good as advertised in playing alongside Wyatt, arguably one of the most rugged, efficient rushers in Texas who amassed a career-best 2,888 yards rushing this past season.

For starters, Seth Texada proved, among other things, that even with a small frame, he boasts the smarts to elude opposing defenders, considering he reached the end zone on an average of six carries.

As if that wasn’t enough to draw rave reviews, Seth Texada was just as reliable on special teams, where he averaged in the neighborhood of 32 yards per punt return.

Wait…there’s more, he acknowledged.

“I improved my run, blocking and pass protection,” Seth Texada said. “Overall, it was a great season, especially to top it off by winning the state championship. Now I have a football championship to go with a state championship (in track and field). That’s two state championships in one year…not bad at all.”

Fortunately Seth Texada, with two full seasons of major prep football ahead of him, at least one intriguing thing has been determined for this overwhelmingly gifted — yet sometimes underrated — athlete.

RUN TELL THAT — “Coaches and recruiters need to know that no one is going to outwork me,” said Seth Texada who, last summer, was extended invites to camps at Texas State, Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southern Methodist University, although scheduling conflicts didn’t allow for him to attend any of them. I also understand the value of their investment in me and what it means to be a student-athlete. I have two cousins playing at the (major Division 1 football), which makes me understand that there is a price to pay for success. I’m a man of high morals and character, and I will represent (a college) program in the best possible way.”

That is, he’s exemplifies that championship pedigree, something that, in some cases, can’t be merely taught.

The biggest mystery now, it seems, is at what point will scouts and recruiters consequently take notice.

“Coaches and recruiters need to know that no one is going to outwork me,” said Seth Texada who, last summer, was extended invites to camps at Texas State, Arkansas State, Arkansas Tech, Southeastern Oklahoma State and Southern Methodist University, although scheduling conflicts didn’t allow for him to attend any of them. I also understand the value of their investment in me and what it means to be a student-athlete. I have two cousins playing at the (major Division 1 football), which makes me understand that there is a price to pay for success. I’m a man of high morals and character, and I will represent (a college) program in the best possible way.”

Without question, his father will be right there throughout the entire recruiting process, steering him in the right direction.

Just as he does for, well, the rest of his sheep.

ESTABLISHING A COVENANT: http://www.covenantchurch.org/.

“The sky is the limit for Seth,” Ricky Texada said. “Last summer as a freshman, he ran a 4.43, (had shown) has a 35-inch vertical jump and ran a 4.19 shuttle. These are measurable that matter when determining athletic ability. The one thing that can’t be measured is heart.”

Given the continuous progress Seth Texada has made in recent years, it’s safe to assume greater days are on the horizon for a thriving multi-sport athlete, one whom seems well on his way to appearing under the recruiters’ radar.

Much sooner than later.



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 founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

 

Former pro athlete Spencer Conley has evolved as an internationally-acclaimed inspirational speaker and life professor

A TRUE PRO — A native of New Jersey who has spent the better portion of his life in Texas, Spencer Conley is widely known as an Inspirational Speaker and Life Professor, one who undoubtedly has found his niche in this ever-so-evolving industry. Not bad for a former pro athlete whom, as he tells it, tried diligently to avoid higher education. “I accomplished something that I never thought I’d do,” Conley, 44, told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I became a college graduate. And I tried to get out of it.” Because he managed to persevere and press his way toward earning his college degree, what Conley ultimately discovered aside from having flourished on the grid iron was that he also was birthed with gift of coaching. Err, life coaching, that is.
A TRUE PROA native of New Jersey who has spent the better portion of his life in Texas, Spencer Conley is widely known as an Inspirational Speaker and Life Professor, one who undoubtedly has found his niche in this ever-so-evolving industry. Not bad for a former pro athlete whom, as he tells it, tried diligently to avoid higher education.
“I accomplished something that I never thought I’d do,” Conley, 44, told longtime journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I became a college graduate. And I tried to get out of it.” Because he managed to persevere and press his way toward earning his college degree, what Conley ultimately discovered aside from having flourished on the grid iron was that he also was birthed with gift of coaching.
Err, life coaching, that is.

DALLAS — Without question, Spencer Conley is one driven man.

Too driven, that is.

A former prep, collegiate and professional standout of an athlete, Conley, because the divine calling on his life, has witnessed God exalt and promote and elevate in ways unimaginable.

So much, in fact, that Conley doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who basking and dwelling in the purpose for which he was created, thus striving daily to esteem others highly than himself.

“There’s no title to what I do,” said Conley who, as usual, always seems to know exactly what to say and, most importantly, knows how to inspire others in the process.

“But there’s purpose to what I do,” he continued.

aas-768x576Given the immense strides he’s made since hanging up his helmet and cleats as a pretty efficient football player, it’s safe to assume that Conley is driven in such a way that his inspiring, eloquent voice has appropriately given way to his having emerged as an internationally-acclaimed personality in his own right.

A native of New Jersey who has spent the better portion of his life in Texas, Conley is widely known as an Inspirational Speaker and Life Professor, one who undoubtedly has found his niche in this ever-so-evolving industry.

DRIVEN BY GOD — The founder of chief executive officer of Too Driven, Conley — widely known as “Big Coach Con” — is a motivator who conveys a life-altering experience that always leaves the audience ready to believe and to better themselves, according to a spokesperson at www.toodriven.com. In addition, Conley’s primary emphasis is to deliver the most powerful messages, many of which have him tagged as “The H.O.P.E. Dealer” or Helping Others Practice Encouragement.”
DRIVEN BY GODThe founder of chief executive officer of Too Driven, Conley — widely known as “Big Coach Con” — is a motivator who conveys a life-altering experience that always leaves the audience ready to believe and to better themselves, according to a spokesperson at www.toodriven.com. In addition, Conley’s primary emphasis is to deliver the most powerful messages, many of which have him tagged as “The H.O.P.E. Dealer” or Helping Others Practice Encouragement.”

Not bad for a former pro athlete whom, as he tells it, tried diligently to avoid higher education because, as he tells it, “I tried to avoid college because of fear and being dyslexic had me afraid all my youth.”

“I accomplished something that I never thought I’d do,” Conley, 44, told Making Heradline News during a recent interview. “I became a college graduate. And I tried to get out of it.”

Because he managed to persevere and press his way toward earning his college degree, what Conley ultimately discovered aside from having flourished on the grid iron was that he also was birthed with gift of coaching.

Err, life coaching, that is.

GLOBAL IMPACT — Conley has been afforded to travel abroad — early and often. To his credit, for instance, his profession has allowed how to put his immense skills on display in as many as 42 countries, most notably Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Ghana, China, Japan, Germany, Spain and France, among others. In addition, Conley has given speeches in 45 U. S. states with the exception of Montana, North and South Dakota, Oregon and Maine, he said.
GLOBAL IMPACTConley has been afforded to travel abroad — early and often.
To his credit, for instance, his profession has allowed how to put his immense skills on display in as many as 42 countries, most notably Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Ghana, China, Japan, Germany, Spain and France, among others.
In addition, Conley has given speeches in 45 U. S. states with the exception of Montana, North and South Dakota, Oregon and Maine, he said.

The founder of chief executive officer of Too Driven, Conley — widely known as “Big Coach Con” — is a motivator who conveys a life-altering experience that always leaves the audience ready to believe and to better themselves, according to a spokesperson at www.toodriven.com.

In addition, Conley’s primary emphasis is to deliver the most powerful messages, many of which have him tagged as “The H.O.P.E. Dealer” or Helping Others Practice Encouragement.”

MORE ON SPENCER CONLEY: http://www.toodriven.com/about.

According to one rave review on www.toodriven.com, “This former professional athlete and highly sought-after Motivational Speaker has a way with words that can only be described as life changing. When you call on (Big Coach Con), you’re not getting a service, you’re getting RESULTS!”

Which, to Conley’s credit, sums up why he has steadily evolved and blossomed into arguably one of the finest up-and-coming inspirational speakers — and Life Professors — in this present generation.

Still, one who deems it necessary to always remain humble, Conley would be the first to acknowledge that he’s just giddy that his Creator thought it essential to set him aside for His use for a time such as now.

“I’m walking in purpose,” Conley said.

HE HAS A DREAM…TOO — A former prep, collegiate and professional standout of an athlete, Conley, because the divine calling on his life, has witnessed God exalt and promote and elevate in ways unimaginable. So much, in fact, that Conley doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who basking and dwelling in the purpose for which he was created, thus striving daily to esteem others highly than himself. “There’s no title to what I do,” said Conley who, as usual, always seems to know exactly what to say and, most importantly, knows how to inspire others in the process.
HE HAS A DREAM…TOOA former prep, collegiate and professional standout of an athlete, Conley, because the divine calling on his life, has witnessed God exalt and promote and elevate in ways unimaginable.
So much, in fact, that Conley doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’s one who basking and dwelling in the purpose for which he was created, thus striving daily to esteem others highly than himself.
“There’s no title to what I do,” said Conley who, as usual, always seems to know exactly what to say and, most importantly, knows how to inspire others in the process.

And no one has to remind him of Who orchestrated all of this.

“It’s God,” Conley’s quick to acknowledge. “Many have contributed to the man I’ve become. This walk is something I must do alone, yet you know you’re in the right place, even though you’re (often) misunderstood and no one understands but you. Life is too precious. I have no time to wait for it to be okay to others or for them to understand.”

Amongst the reasons is that Conley has been afforded to travel abroad — as often as he can, every chance he gets.

To his credit, for instance, his notable profession has allowed how to put his immense skills on display in as many as 42 countries, most notably Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, Ghana, China, Japan, Germany, Spain and France, among others.

In addition, Conley has given speeches in 45 U. S. states (the North Slope Alaska bring amongst his best establishments) with the exception of Montana, North and South Dakota, Oregon and Maine, he said.

When asked how many speeches he gives annually, Conley, displaying his customary signature smiles, paused and said: “I’d be comfortable you can say 300 easily. I could do 25 (public) schools in a week. I’ve done that. So when we look at it, that number goes up.”

And let’s not forget the major colleges and universities such as West Point, the University of Minnesota, University of Texas at Austin, Loyola Marymount University, the University of Kentucky, and the Shanghai (China) Institute of Technology, just to name a few.

ALL GOD'S DOING --- “What I do is tied and deeply rooted to my belief system,” Conley said. “God gave his son! The son gave his life.  Two great acts of giving sum up the foundation of my belief system. I’m not churchy. For me, it’s about applying what I know how I treat people with the things I know and when you look at me do you see who I claim to be…forget about what I say am I living it. That’s the reasons I don’t get into titles or outrageous introductions. It’s not about how much you know it’s about how much you care. Credentials don’t mean you can help me.”
ALL GOD’S DOING“What I do is tied and deeply rooted to my belief system,” Conley said. “God gave his son! The son gave his life. Two great acts of giving sum up the foundation of my belief system. I’m not churchy. For me, it’s about applying what I know how I treat people with the things I know and when you look at me do you see who I claim to be…forget about what I say am I living it. That’s the reasons I don’t get into titles or outrageous introductions. It’s not about how much you know it’s about how much you care. Credentials don’t mean you can help me.”

“How inspiration feels personally, many of us struggle to take the nessessary steps to experience it for ourselves, desperately trying to connect to those who put in the work to experience personal victory,” Conley explained. “We won,” yet they didn’t participate.”

There’s certainly more to this notion.

“What I do is tied and deeply rooted to my belief system,” Conley said. “God gave his son! The son gave his life.  Two great acts of giving sum up the foundation of my belief system. I’m not churchy. For me, it’s about applying what I know how I treat people with the things I know and when you look at me do you see who I claim to be…forget about what I say am I living it. That’s the reasons I don’t get into titles or outrageous introductions. It’s not about how much you know it’s about how much you care. Credentials don’t mean you can help me.”

By and large, given how God has miraculously and majestically used him for His glory to encourage the masses, without question, “Big Coach Con” is one driven man.

Too driven, that is.



aaa

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, 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, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Collierville High’s Blake Stigger generates offers from two colleges, remains hopeful he will sign

bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbThings didn’t particularly turn out the way LaGarrious Blake Stigger had expected during his senior season for the Collierville High football team.

Still, he’s convinced that because of his overall body work in recent years, he deserves a shot at putting his immense skills on display at the collegiate level.

By and large, as Stigger tells it, he isn’t letting anything or anyone stop his lofty ambition of wearing a college football uniform come next fall.

STANDING TALL --- Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Blake Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level. Surely, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters. (Photos by ANTONIO TAYLOR/Taylor Moments)
STANDING TALLDespite a year in which he played sparingly, Blake Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.
Surely, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters. (Photos by ANTONIO TAYLOR/Taylor Moments)

“Honestly, (I played) average because I didn’t get much (playing) time,” Stigger told Making Headline News during a recent interview. My talent speaks for itself. Overall, I kept a positive attitude and gave this season 125 percent.”

Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger doesn’t shy away from the notion that he hopes will ultimately fulfill his dream of playing at the next level.

MOM KNOWS BEST --- Like her son, Katrena Marie Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program. “(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”
MOM KNOWS BESTLike her son, Katrena Marie Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program.
“(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”

Surely, without any official offers as of yet, he strongly believes his chances are as good as anyone with whom he played and played against in a Shelby-Metro area that has emerged a virtual hotbed for college scouts and recruiters.

“That I am a hard worker and humble young man that just want an opportunity to do what I love the most,” said Stigger, when asked what it is he’d like for college scouts to know about him. “I just need a chance.”

WATCH BLAKE IN ACTION: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5528015/blake-stigger.

That, after all, explains why the 6-foot-3, 215-pound athlete conditions daily in hopes of attracting the attention of a college program that will be willing to grant him what he describes as a golden opportunity.

“His father got him started (in competitive football) in 2006 with the Mt. Pleasant Lions,” Stigger’s mother, Katrena Marie Stone explained. From that point, I learned it was something he really loved. I was amazed because I really didn’t know that he had it in him. I overlooked the talent, because I just thought it was something most boys did just to keep busy.”

THEY ARE WATCHING --- Despite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.
THEY ARE WATCHINGDespite a year in which he played sparingly, Stigger, to his credit, managed to generate interests from the University of Louisville and Alcorn State, a trend he hopes will ultimately give way to his fulfilling his dream of playing at the next level.

Like her son, Stone remains hopeful that her son will be given a fair shot to make a favorable impression upon some college football program.

“(Because of his success and dedication, Blake is so passionate about football,” Stone said. “As I watch him play, I see nothing but greatness. It’s like a gift he was born with.”

As for his notable strengths, Stigger has become thoroughly efficient at reading offenses which, to his credit, has allowed him to blossom as a player who has proven to contain the opposing team’s top rusher.

As for his weakness, he acknowledged that reducing mental mistakes is a must as he auditions to play at the next level.

With National Signing Day less than three months away (February 1), Stigger knows full well he has no time to waste, despite a senior campaign in which he saw limited action.

OH...AND ONE LAST THING --- “ This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”
OH…AND ONE LAST THING“This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”

“(I will be) attending some camps, working on my footwork, speed, and strength,” he said. “Whatever college offers me a scholarship, they be inheriting a very bright, intelligent young man who is willing to give 125% on and off the field.”

Just as he had done in 2016 — and years prior to that.

“This is always what I wanted to do as a child,” Stigger said. “This is what I grew up on. I love the aggressiveness and the contact (football brings). (Football) is in my blood. I want to be the one in my family to make it (to the next level). I don’t look at this as a ticket out, because I have a backup plan. But I want to achieve this dream for myself and in dedication of my cousin that didn’t get to see this day.”

And, as he tells it, he isn’t letting anything or anyone stop his lofty ambition of wearing a college football uniform come next fall.

Stay tuned.



aaaEDITOR’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 founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.

MID-SOUTH RECRUITING: Collierville High’s Mikho Grandison hopeful he’ll land football scholarship after ‘productive’ senior campaign

THE WAITING GAME — According to Collierville High athlete Mikho Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State. “I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said. However, the question that remains is whether Grandison — who ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season. (Photos by Antonio Taylor/Taylor Moments)
THE WAITING GAME According to Collierville High athlete Mikho Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State. “I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said. However, the question that remains is whether Grandison — who ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season. (Photos by Antonio Taylor/Taylor Moments)

Mikho Grandison is one who customarily views things from a broader perspective.

You know, the bigger picture, that is.

Take, for instance, how Grandison steadfastly clung to a positive disposition during his prep football stint at Collierville (Tenn.) High.

Although coach Mike O’Neill’s Dragons limped to a 5-7 finish and tied cross-county rival Germantown for fifth in the Region 4-6A standings, Grandison made favorable use of his time whenever he was called upon to provide Collierville with a much-needed boosts, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

“I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”

aIn assessing what he described as a subpar senior campaign, it is because of Grandison’s spirited, upbeat approach to what was a pivotal season in 2016 that has greatly fueled his desire to pursue playing football at the collegiate level.

As National Signing Day looms (February 1), Grandison and his family are doing whatever is essential to help attract scouts, thus persuade them to grant him an opportunity they sense he so rightfully deserves.

A speedy, 5-foot-6, 147 athlete, Grandison was quite efficient as a rusher, particularly on productive drives that landed the Dragons in the red zone.

In essence, he strongly believes he would have had an even bigger impact had he gained more touches.

“Even though they didn’t give me the ball as much, I always made good and positive yards every time I touched the ball,” Grandison said.

To his credit, even when he wasn’t carrying the ball, he made it a point to demonstrate poise and resiliency in other areas that ultimately gave way to some stellar offensive productivity.

“I blocked for everybody,” Grandison said. “No matter how big the person was, they didn’t scare me at all. I still thought I was stronger than them and I knew I had to make every play count and I did.”

CUT UP, MIKHO: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5164615/mikho-grandison.

With some added exposure in the foreseeable future, Grandison remains hopeful that he will solidify the big break he has diligently sought in recent years.

According to Grandison, while he has yet to garner any official scholarship offers, he said he has kept in constant contact with a few recruiters at Austin Peay State.

“I was talking to the Austin Peay recruiter (during the season),” Grandison said.

However, arguably the biggest question that remains is whether Grandison — who is ranked as the No. 68 overall recruit for the Class of 2017 in Tennessee by Maxpreps.com — will ink a National Letter of intent to play college football next season.

Given the immense strides he’s made in recent years, his mother, Uzette Grandison, undoubtedly thinks so.

“I always tell my son to reach beyond the sky, because there are infinite possibilities in the universe,” Uzette Grandison said. “My first reaction when I realized my son could go a long way (as an athlete) was to work with him to help make him better.”

Uzette Grandison, in fact, even recalls those times in which she assumed the role as football-mom-turned-trainer-turned-coach.

For real, though.

“I would throw the football, have family football games, and let him watch football,” Uzette Grandison explained.

POSITIVE…REGARDLESS — “I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”
POSITIVE…REGARDLESS“I think I played harder than most people,” Grandison told Sports Journalist Andre Johnson during a recent interview. “I never took a plays off…always did my job. I was leader and always (gave) 120 percent, never gave up, always played through (adversity) no matter how bad we was losing.”

Thanks to her unyielding guidance and wisdom, hard work has seemingly paid off for her son.

“I am elated when my son touches the football,” Uzette Grandison said. “He is explosive and many people don’t expect to see that, so when I hear the chatter, I hold my head up with pride and flick my hair so they can see the name on the back of my shirt.”

If things go his way in the coming months, Mikho Grandison’s name will be embroidered on the back of a college football jersey, something about which he has dreamt for some time.

When asked would he like for college recruiters and coaches to know about him,  Mikho Grandison said, “That I’m a hard worker and a leader…and that I’m just a young man who’s trying to show coaches my talents. All I need is a chance to show it.”

Typical Grandison, one who customarily views things from a broader perspective.

You know, the bigger picture, that is.



aaaEDITOR’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 founder and publisher of Making Headline News. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to memphisgraduate@yahoo.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.