Paws and Claws or Pause and Clause?

Former student-athletes weigh in on Hewitt, Clay rivalry I saw a post on Twitter last week that said, “Give me a horror story from your specialty in five words or less.”  I replied, “No more Hewitt vs. Clay.”  For the longest time, covering Trussville and Clay and their athletics teams was my specialty. I went … Continue reading Paws and Claws or Pause and Clause?

Paying it forward

This story appears in Gary Lloyd’s book, Valley Road: Uplifting Stories from Down South. Get it here.  He remembers that the 6-foot-5, 220-pound lineman always looked sad. He was always so quiet. Once he found out the lanky lineman’s story, he knew why. The lineman’s mother was killed in a murder-suicide by his stepfather when he was … Continue reading Paying it forward

JefCoEd seniors earn more than $62 million in scholarships

By Gary Lloyd Educators in Jefferson County, Alabama, have more than sixty-two million reasons to smile. The graduating seniors from the Class of 2018 from the fourteen Jefferson County Schools high schools earned a total of $62,257,917.50 in scholarships. That’s enough money to buy sixty-two Manhattan apartments. Or pay LeBron James’ salary for two NBA … Continue reading JefCoEd seniors earn more than $62 million in scholarships

Pitches and promises

The sophomore pitcher circled the mound before the first batter stepped into the box, and then he bent over behind the rubber. He extended his left hand and began to use his index finger as a pencil for the cool dirt. It was winter, and the high school baseball season was just underway. He was … Continue reading Pitches and promises

Communities win Clay-Chalkville, Pinson Valley semifinal game

PINSON -- I’ve waited seven years to write this story, and I hope I get it just right. I have wanted this game for so long, an intra-ZIP-code tilt between the team with the terrorizing defense anchored by the future SEC defensive tackle against the clicking-on-all-cylinders offense led by the future -- most likely -- … Continue reading Communities win Clay-Chalkville, Pinson Valley semifinal game

Book of inspiring stories releases Sept. 15

MOODY, Ala. -- Gary Lloyd has released his fourth book, Valley Road: Uplifting Stories from Down South.The book is broken down into three parts: People, Places and Play. In the People section, Lloyd tells stories of inspirational people, from a BMX stunt team motivating a school of elementary students to a man with severe Alzheimer’s miraculously … Continue reading Book of inspiring stories releases Sept. 15

New homes

Their dreams were so big, but their budgets weren't quite enough. There was the woman pursuing a master's degree, dreaming of one day opening her own daycare center. There was the other mother, hoping to go back to school to earn her own degree. There was the kindergartner who was on her church's praise team, who … Continue reading New homes

Root, root, root for the Cubbies

I sent him everywhere, to softball games in Clay and Pinson, to football games in Trussville and Gardendale. There’s no telling how many sets of bleachers I sent him to sit in, but he was always willing and eager, even when he was forced to tote his oxygen tank.He loved sports as much as anyone … Continue reading Root, root, root for the Cubbies

Catching more flies with sugar than salt

He used to be obsessed with winning, at least early on in his career as a cross country and track and field coach. But he has been at the same Alabama high school since George H.W. Bush was in the White House, and now that he is on the backside of a successful career, he … Continue reading Catching more flies with sugar than salt

Typical disturbances not in store

I wrote about this shopping center quite a few times. It was never about a new store opening, or a door-buster sale.It was always about crimes and disturbances. There was the possible flash mob in the summer of 2011. There was the alleged shoplifter in 2013 who fled from loss prevention authorities and struck an elderly … Continue reading Typical disturbances not in store