TERRE HAUTE —
I had my first phone conversation with Mike Saylor since mid-February on Thursday and he sounded good.
The former Terre Haute South High School boys basketball coach, who’s been battling cancer this year, has been traveling back and forth to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for chemotherapy treatments.
Saylor, 52, concluded his first round of treatments a few weeks ago and he started his second round this week. All in all, six cycles of treatment are scheduled.
Although Saylor preferred not to speculate on his future, he did say the medical facility he chose for his treatments couldn’t be better.
“It’s top of the line,” he emphasized. “Some websites rank it No. 1 in the world for cancer treatment. The staff has been very nice.”
Between treatments, Saylor hopes to attend the “Coach Mike Saylor Benefit Night” festivities next Friday, April 26, at South.
“I feel pretty good about being able to come back,” he said.
A $5 chili supper will be served at 5 p.m. in the cafeteria, a silent auction will take place in the pool lobby all evening and the highlight of the night will be an alumni basketball game at 7. Admission is $5.
Game director Shane Abrell said in an email Thursday that former South players coming to play include Tony McGee, Brian Evans, Steve Hart, Maynard Lewis, Seth Dunlap, Anthony McGill, Christian Barnett, Cole Vicars, Ian McIntyre, Lucas Steward, Greg Luken, Zach Odum, Barry Minnett and Spencer Harlan.
Confirmation from others — hint to Jeremy Harrold and Toby Stephens, say “yes” (insert wink symbol here) — should arrive in the next few days, Abrell added.
“It has been a pleasure putting this together and I have been amazed with the response we had from former players wanting to take part in the event,” noted Abrell, an assistant athletic director at South.
Also, “This SAYLOR ship won’t sink” bracelets are still being sold in the South athletic office for $3. All proceeds from the benefit night and bracelet sales will go to the Saylor family.
Saylor, who admits he’s had his ups and downs in recent weeks, mentioned how much he appreciates the support he’s received from the Terre Haute community since news broke of his cancer diagnosis.
“I’d really like to thank all the people who’ve been supportive in various ways, especially prayer,” he said. “People have just been angelic to me and my family. Terre Haute is a place with a lot of caring, Christian-loving people. It’s amazing.”
Saylor also wanted to thank the South and Vigo County School Corp. personnel for organizing the benefit game.
“It’s very nice that they’re doing it,” he said. “South, [principal] Chris Mauk, [school superintendent] Danny Tanoos and the staff have been wonderful to me. It’s been a very humbling experience.”
Just so everyone knows, Saylor did not ask to be interviewed for today’s column. It was my idea because I run into so many people who have been asking about him.
But Saylor reminds us there are countless other cancer patients — those whose names aren’t recognized in the sports section because they weren’t coaches or athletes — who deserve get-well prayers as much as he does.
“This is a tough thing to have to go through,” he explained. “It’s not something I would want to see anyone else go through. There are a lot of people who go through this stuff.”
David Hughes can be reached after 4 p.m. by phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at 812-231-4224; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by fax at 812-231-4321.
TERRE HAUTE —
I had my first phone conversation with Mike Saylor since mid-February on Thursday and he sounded good.
- Sports Columns
Ramblin’ Reck: It’s officially Tourney Time in the Valley
The regular season now has ended for most high school and college basketball teams in the area. It’s Tourney Time.
College report: Valley softball pair help Ball State start off with 12-2 record
Two Wabash Valley products have helped the Ball State softball team get off to a 12-2 start, including five straight wins last weekend to capture the Louisville Slugger Invitational at Arizona State.
Redneck Quaker: Edington, Mafioli set up marriage in unique way
Kaylee Edington says being outdoors gets you away from the turmoil in life and that is why they want to include it into the most important things in their lives.
Little did she know a marriage proposal was being planned for her while she was shooting sporting clays in the great outdoors.
Ramblin Reck: Cloverdale riding 10-game winning streak
Illinois high school boys basketball teams commenced postseason play Monday night and teams in Indiana are set to close out the regular season. Two of the teams with top marks in the area are Cloverdale and Clay City and they met last Saturday to cap a good week of basketball.
TODD GOLDEN: Relax, guys: Play loose, have fun
What seems like an end can really be a beginning for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team.
Redneck Quaker: Wabash Valley Limbhangers conducting banquet March 7
Stand by for news!
No, I’m not Paul Harvey, but please read on about a lot of fun that is about to happen in the turkey-hunting and bass-fishing worlds.
Ramblin’ Reck: Regular season winding down in high school basketball
Time flies when you’re having fun … and playing basketball.
It’s hard to believe that the regular season ends this week for high school basketball teams that we cover in Illinois. The postseason begins next Monday.
Paris, Casey and Marshall have the top marks and Robinson has had some good wins playing a tough schedule.
From The Press Box: The nuts and bolts of compiling a Mock Selection for the NCAA Tournament
Before March Madness comes the March mystery of the run-up to Selection Sunday.
College Report: Valley pair square off in softball pitching duel
Administrators and coaches long ago scheduled the East Tennessee State and Indiana University softball teams to both compete in the Georgia State Panther Invitational in Atlanta last weekend. Little could they have realized, however, that a Sunday afternoon pitching matchup between the two teams would pair two successful, blonde, and versatile performers from western Indiana in a head-to-head clash.
Redneck Quaker: National Wild Turkey Federation banquet coming Saturday
The Sycamore Ridge chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will have its banquet this coming Saturday at the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union Hall, 8801 E. Milner Ave.
Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7. Food is catered by Rick’s Smokehouse; you will lick your fingers to the bone after enjoying one of their fine meals.
Ramblin’ Reck: Grizzlies shoot, make just one free throw in win
Memphis defeated Atlanta 79-76. The big point about this game is that the Grizzlies shot just one free throw in the game — and made it. That is an unofficial record for the shot-clock era.
Redneck Quaker: Everyone should meet John Steinbrenner at least once
I’m struggling to find the correct words to describe this incredible 44-year-old outdoorsman!
At times, I will get down on life and feel sorry for myself. Everyone should meet John Steinbrenner at one time n their life. This man sees no challenges, just solutions for anything he comes up against.
From the Press Box: Loss couldn’t ruin great day for ISU, Terre Haute
When I write, and when I can, I like to give myself a bit of time to soak in what I’m going to write about. After Indiana State’s 65-58 loss to No. 4 Wichita State on Wednesday, I went home, had a bite to eat and pondered what I thought the night was all about.
I knew ISU’s disappointment cut deep. Really deep. A cruel reality of sports is that losses linger on in the memory with greater resonance than wins often do. Given the shots that rattled out, fell short and missed the mark in the final five minutes, this is a defeat that will, sadly, dog the Sycamores tonight, tomorrow and 20 years from now.
Ramblin' Reck: Upsets leave Syracuse in No. 1 spot
A wild week of men’s college basketball action ended Sunday with Indiana’s Hoosiers knocking off Big Ten leader Michigan 63-52.
TILL IT'S OVER: Indiana Track and Field museum in Terre Haute a treasure for city
Greg Gibson and Dave Patterson were named honorary members of the Indiana Track and Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame on Saturday at a reception for the 2014 inductees Saturday.
The Wabash Valley inductees were former high-jump state champion Ted Sweatt of Terre Haute Wiley, former Sullivan and Indiana State standout Erica Moore, former state mile record holder Jack Corridan of Wiley and Tom Henderson of Brazil.
Hughes, News & Views: Odds in favor of Richard Sherman being mentioned here
I’ve explained my post-2011 NFL allegiances before, but allow me to summarize them one more time for any new readers to this column.
I eased into liking the Indianapolis Colts as my favorite team in the late 1980s. Like plenty of other Wabash Valley sports fans, I became Colts-obsessed when Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and others turned them into an elite franchise in 1999 and the early 2000s.
When the Colts beat Da Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI on Feb. 4, 2007, I yelled as loud as anyone in Terre Haute.
Ramblin’ Reck: Even after 20-point loss, Sycamores move up to 51st in RPI
Checking out some basketball polls and rankings -- colleges first:
In spite of losing to Wichita State, Indiana State moved up to 51st in the weekly RPI totals from 63. Some other rankings: Kansas 1, Wisconsin 4, Villanova 5, Wichita State 9, Creighton 10, Illinois 58, Northern Iowa 70, Indiana 77, Missouri State 78, Purdue 87, Butler 90, Notre Dame 94, Illinois State 108.
College report: Terre Haute pair Berry, Comer to boost Sycamores’ lines
While many people have varying opinions on the most important position on a football team, most old-school gridiron veterans would consider strong line play as a necessity for anything else to work — kind of like pitching in baseball and guard play in basketball.
FROM THE PRESSBOX: Time for constructive criticism, not panic for ISU
I said before Indiana State’s Missouri Valley Conference showdown with Wichita State that there would be no need to hit the panic button if the Sycamores lost at Koch Arena on Saturday.
REDNECK QUAKER: Hunting bear will provide challenge you seek
Brett Dalton and some fellow turkey hunters decided to try their hand at bear hunting, but found it to be more of a challenge than they thought.
Don’t forget, Mother Nature calls the shots!
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Little to lose, a lot to gain for Indiana State
It’s hard not to get excited about today’s Missouri Valley Conference summit meeting between co-leaders Indiana State and Wichita State. Who wouldn’t be?
AMEY TAKES AIM: Emmitt 'Tank' Tyler remembered as a great football player, great mentor
Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. today and 10 a.m. until the 11 o’clock services Saturday at Second Missionary Baptist Church for Emmitt “Tank” Tyler.
The former Garfield and Indiana State fullback and linebacker passed away on Jan. 8 and is survived by his wife Debra and sons Emmitt II and Ethan, along with three goddaughters, two sisters, five brothers and a huge extended family.
Ramblin' Reck: After snow, busy week in prep basketball
Because of lots of snow and ice, high school basketball action was limited in the area last week. This week promises to be a busy one, especially with better weather conditions in the forecast. Some key prep boys games are slated, two of them tonight.
AMEY TAKES AIM: Basketball clock ticking down for Union
If there’s an unfortunate unintended consequence of the several weather-related postponements to the Greene County Invitational — which is operating as well as it possibly could have, Steve Brett was adamant about going on record to say Saturday evening — it’s that losers of Saturday’s four first-round games won’t get to play their usual two additional games in the consolation bracket.
Ramblin' Reck: Both ISU basketball teams off to strong starts in MVC
College basketball teams have commenced league play and it's nice to see Indiana State teams in the top spot in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.
From the Press Box: I’ve seen the enemy … and it’s the double bonus
I’ve seen the enemy.
I’ve seen it turn the game of basketball from one of exciting flow into a nonstop parade of tedium. I’ve seen it morph hundreds of what would-be thrilling, last-minute, end-to-end conclusions into foul shooting exhibitions that suck the life out of a gym or arena near you.
It’s the double bonus. It’s a scourge, one that is often overlooked when ideas on how to make the game more entertaining or to speed the game up are put forth.
Amey Takes Aim: Tourney provided a few Classic moments
This column was falling into place nicely until about 1:15 p.m. Saturday. Then youth and inexperience reared up to bite it.
Ramblin’ Reck: College basketball season races start to get serious
The preliminaries are over and college conference teams start playing each other tonight with league titles and possible NCAA berths on the line.
A few words of wisdom for this Christmas season
Tis the day before Christmas, a day set aside for observing the birth of Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas to you all and your loved ones. We'll take this time to publish some words of wisdom from one of the cards sent our way – this person is No. 1 among card senders in our book. To wit:
College report: Wabash Valley hoops pair earn MVC weekly honors
Two Wabash Valley natives picked up big honors this week from the Missouri Valley Conference for their excellence on the basketball court. Evansville freshman Sara Dickey of Riverton Parke earned the league’s Newcomer of the Week for the third time while Loyola sophomore Matt O’Leary of Terre Haute North was chosen as the league’s Scholar-Athlete of the week.
- More Sports Columns Headlines
- Ramblin’ Reck: It’s officially Tourney Time in the Valley