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Coach Recalls High School Showdown Against Emmit Smith


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  • Coach Recalls High School Showdown Against Emmit Smith ... _1205.html

    "Here we are with these great players and nowhere to go," former Escambia coach Dwight Thomas said. "We needed one more time to showcase those two studs."

    Budnyk felt the same way, and it wasn't long before both coaches had a solution to their post-season heartbreak. The Gainesville Sports Commission proposed to have the teams meet at Florida Field in the inaugural Florida Classic on Nov. 26, 1986.

    Neither Budnyk nor Thomas hesitated to accept the offer, which included $1,000 and all expenses paid for each school.

    "I asked my kids and my coaching staff if they'd want to go, and they said, 'To play against Emmitt Smith? Oh yeah, Coach,' " Budnyk recalled. "All of them were thrilled to death."

    In a bowl hyped as a showdown pitting the state's best runner against its best passer, both of whom were unsigned, the coaches had one more opportunity to show college scouts their other top athletes.

  • #2
    Which are your stories about athletes (in any sport) against whom you competed who later turned out to be someone of professional significance?


    • #3
      Brian Urlacher. He's from Lovington NM and I am from Carlsbad. I used to beat up on him on the track in HS in the hurdles and HJ. Had I played football, the result on the field probably wouldnt have been the same!


      • #4
        not me - but staying with the football theme - My younger brother played on a sub par football team as a two way - WR and DB. They were playing a team from Santa Barbara which was undefeated and had some big guns/fast guys- and football saavy. Their O-line averaged about 360 or so (one guy weighed 440-50 or something like that). They would just hand off to their fullback or whoever and they would follow the irrestible force of the huge lineman clearing things away.

        Anyway one play their fullback ran through everything into the secondary and was charging right at my brother - bro weighed about 160lbs at the time. No one else within 10 yards. Fullback about 220 or so and no fat - reported ran a 9.8 100y. Man vs mouse. Mano y ??? Anyway my brother hit him head on and after 10 yards or so he went down with my brother hanging on.

        The fullback - Sam 'Bam' Cunningham - he of USC Rose Bowl fame (MVP) and destroyer of Arkansas football team a few years later. He had a bit to do with the integration of "southern style" football, according to Bear Bryant He was also the Cal State SP champ. Sam went on to a successful pro career. Quite the specimen.

        My brothers team didn't win but.


        • #5
          That:s a cool story.


          • #6
            Okay - here's another one - about both me and my younger brother - a different one than smashmouth football fame. My best friend was a sports/athletic fanatic - and hated to lose at anything akin to that. HATED. He fancied himself to be superior in everything - and he was.

            Anyway when my buddy and I were in 8th grade we were running 60yd dashes on the 'playground' vs all comers - he was beating everyone. over the previous few days. My younger brother (in the 4th grad I think - said casually yea I'll race em.

            So they line up and on your marks, get set GO. My brother beats him by a good two strides. My buddy can't believe this and is furious about whatever (getting beat I think) He said it was a fluke - and challenged him (bro) to another race. So - on your marks ... this time my brother beats him by about 4 strides - just destroyed him. Not fun for any 8th grade king of the mountain.

            My buddy and I went separate ways for HS. He was all CIF So Cal in three sports ... and drafted #1 out of HS in major league baseball - 1968. He turned down a scholarship to USC as quarterback to play in the bigs. He played for quite a while qas a shortstop for a number of teams. He was the shortstop on the World Series winning "We are family" team (Pirates). He's still in the game as a coach somewhere.

            Thing was my brother was an even better baseball and football player than he. Chose running instead.

            Tim Foli - look em up. Never an allstar and won't be in the HOF but a 'player - in the arena' guy. Batted .284 or so one year.

            Moral of the story - there's always a young buck ... don't mess unless you can deal w em. Know when to hold em ...


            • #7
              guess that one wasn't too interesting ... :shock:


              • #8
                Very interesting as well! I:d forgotten about this thread in the hustle and bustle of last week. Good story!


                • #9
                  Tim Foli

                  The baseball guides used to list Foli as haling from Culver City- is that true?

                  Other QB's who were fine SS's include Dan Pastorini, Archie Manning, Condredge Holloway, Mike Miley and Cornelius Greene. The skills transfer (plant, pivot and throw accurately, while an athlete is charging you, have excellent footwork in smaller steps).

                  Several big league shortstops were recruited as major college QB's- Frank Duffy and A-Rod among them. Over at third, Mike Shannon QB'd a year at Missouri, Butch Hobson at 'bama.



                  • #10
                    Foli BORN in Culver City - graduated from Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks. He was living in Canoga Park when we were living out our our pre and early teen yrs. He was nicknamed 'Crazy Horse" in the majors. He once (or more? - not sure) slept on second base a night after a bad game. Also got in a fight with (among many others I was told) Reggie Jackson. Tim was an excellent fielder - soft hands and could 'read' the batters very well. He batted (if memory serves) over .500 or 600 for four years in HS. - average. Tho that seem pretty high. Obviosly way short of that in bigs. He did hit for the cycle once.


                    • #11
                      Encounter w/ a Pro?

                      Heck of a question. Our 85 lb. football team and my 7th/8th grade combined track team faced the Landon School when they had future Bucknell and Det. Lions RB Ken Jenkins. For decades Ken was Bucknell's single-season rushing leader. Interestingly, Kenneth Jenkins was not an outstanding football player as a middle school boy- I only remember him because in the early 1970's, Landon had no other Black athletes on their sports teams who were my age.

                      One of my seventh grade basketball teammates didn't grow up to be a pro athlete per se, but a golf (teaching) pro, but when we were kids, I'd see him on t.v. during the Super Bowl halftime show each year because he was a national Punt, Pass and Kick champion (Jack Skilling). Played some intramural and after school football with and against Olin Browne, who's a PGA pro.

                      On an unrelated note, when I was only about 14, the Upper School had a hurdler, who stood 6'3". He saw me shooting 17 foot jumpshots in our gym, from the right baseline. After I sank about three, all net, he began doubting I'd make any more in a row. I buried 11 before I missed, not one touching iron or glass. I tried to tell him (Larry Shipp) I could shoot.



                      • #12

                        He's working for the Nats' organization:

                        "...Tim Foli returns to the dugout to manage Columbus of the Triple-A International League after spending the 2007 season as Nationals Minor League Field Coordinator. Foli managed Washington’s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans from 2005-06. The 57-year-old also has 11 seasons of big league coaching experience with the Cincinnati Reds (2000-03), Milwaukee Brewers (1992-95) and Texas Rangers (1986-87)..."
                        and speaking of speed:

                        "...Cesar Cedeno, who served as a Spring Training instructor with the Nationals in 2007, has been named a coach with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Nationals. Cedeno played 17 big league seasons with Houston (1970-81), Cincinnati (1982-85), St. Louis (1985) and Los Angeles-NL (1986). He was a career .285 hitter with 199 homers, 976 RBI and 550 stolen bases..."