Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

April 19, 2013

Sports author to speak

Best-selling writer Jim Dent to appear at book club

Athens — Best selling sports author Jim Dent comes to Athens on Wednesday as the guest speaker of the Trinity Valley Community College Read Through the Valley Book Club.

Each year, the club, made of Trinity Valley Community College students and employees, studies a literary work. This year, the selection was Dent’s “Twelve Mighty Orphans.” Dent’s appearance is set for 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the TVCC auditorium, and is open to the public.

The orphans in the book are the Mighty Mites, the football team at Masonic Home in Fort Worth, that became a power in the 1920s and 1930s. Dent’s interest in the team grew out of a show he saw on ESPN in 2006 that featured former NFL linebacker Hardy Brown, known as one of the NFL’s hardest hitters in the 1950s. 

“Steve Sabol asked him, ‘Is there anyone tougher than you?,”’ Dent said. “Hardy said, absolutely, positively not. Then he paused and said, ‘Unless it was at the Home.”’

The idea that an orphanage was able to field a team that competed at such a high level stirred Dent’s creative juices.

“I was a newspaper reporter for a long time, and I love digging into stories,” Dent said. “When I get hold of a story that I really like, I get an adrenaline rush. It’s a good thing too, because I’ve got to write 100,000 words on this subject.”

Dent’s research took him to the Fort Worth Library, where microfilm of old copies of the Fort Worth Press and Fort Worth Star Telegram contained a wealth of Mighty Mite stories. He was also able to track down the living members of some of the Masonic Home teams of the era.

Dent wove the newspaper accounts and player’s remembrances into a story that has sold more than 250,000 copies since its 2007 release.

“It got off to a little bit of a slow start, because it happened so long ago that the story got lost,” Dent said. “A lot of times it’s word-of-mouth that helps you sell books. Once it got going, this thing snowballed. The book continues to keep selling at an amazing pace.”

Dent covered the Dallas Cowboys for the Dallas Times Herald for more than a decade, then segued into the longer form with “The Junction Boys,” in 1997.  Dent said the book grew out of stories former Cowboy assistant coach Gene Stallings had told him about the tortuous summer football camp Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant put his Texas A&M team through in 1954.

Dent returns to Texas high school football for his next work. “The Kids Got it Right,” the story of how the 1965 Big 33 All Stars broke down racial walls. Bill Bradley of Palestine, a future Texas Longhorn and Philadelphia Eagle, and Jerry Levias, the Southwest Conference’s first break-out black football star at SMU, are featured in the book.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • (Left to right back row) Elizabeth Coats, Bailey Ficco, Emma Shepherd, (front row) Mary Ficco, Emma Routh.jpg Girls from LaRue shave their heads to make a difference

    The statistics are alarming. More children are lost to cancer in the United States than any other disease. Before they turn 20, about one in 285 children in the U.S. will have cancer. Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three seconds.
    Four girls from LaRue have taken a stand against these numbers, and have shaved for the brave.
    Bailey Ficco, Mary Ficco, Elizabeth Coats and Emma Shepherd headed to Boston on Saturday, July 27 for an event to help raise money for cancer research. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Tracks lead to alleged thieves of TVEC property

    According to Henderson County Sheriff Ray Nutt, it was at 12:12 a.m., July 30, that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received a call of an alarm at the newly-constructed Trinity Valley Electric Substation located off Farm-to-Market 2329 near Eustace.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Alzheimer’s forum to teach about disease

    The fact is over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's. The Alzheimer's Association says “every 67 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
    Alzheimer's is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly, and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Give-and-take session to discuss problem of underage drinking

    The East Texas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse’s Henderson County Coalition Partnership invites local citizens to take part, Monday, in a give-and-take session on the problem of underage drinking.
    The meeting will be held at the Cain Center in the Cain Room, begins at 5:30 p.m. and is expected to last about an hour. Local officials have been scheduled to take part in discussing the problems regarding alcohol. It’s a concern that affects all parts of the county.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif July proves cooler in 2014

    July is gone, and the weather is leaving a much more favorable impression than its usual swelter.
    The National Weather Service reports the cool front that came through the area on the last day of July, brought more showers to the area, and held the highs in the low 80s. The weekend forecast calls for temperatures to remain several degrees below normal through Sunday.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AMWA to meet Wednesday

    An Athens Municipal Water Authority project that was moved off the front burner when its dispute with the City of Athens heated up is scheduled for discussion when AMWA meets Wednesday.
    The AMWA board of directors is scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. in the Athens City Council chambers, located in the City Hall Annex on Pinkerton Street. On the agenda is to discuss and act upon proceeding with long-range plans to create AMWA offices and meeting facilities.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif A look at the practicalities of AISD’s 2015 campus realignment

    Athens ISD board members’ approval of the proposed campus realignment comes one full year in advance of the decision’s effective date. The timing gives the public as well as district staff and administration opportunity to adjust and prepare for the change.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-1 Athens Rotary.JPG Hirsch speaks at Athens Rotary Thursday

    Henderson County Extension Agent Rick Hirsch spoke at the Athens Rotary Club weekly meeting on Thursday. Hirsch said unlike 2013, this year is a great year to grow anything. He also commented it was a good year to be in the cow business. Welcoming Hirsch to the Rotary Club are Rotary President Kelly Driskell and Rotarian John Trent.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0005.JPG Hydrating first responders

    First responders were invited Wednesday to the Athens Brookshire’s grocery to celebrate a promotion formulated by the store.  When customers purchase five 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, they will receive 200 points. Customers are encouraged to donate the Gatorade to first responders. The promotion will last one month. Shown, from left, are Brookshire’s Store Manager Charles Beasley, Athens Police Department Patrolman Wesley Hoover, APD Cpl. Billy Westover, APD Assistant Chief Rodney Williams, APD Lt. Jeremy Hugghins, APD Patrolman Taylor Chancellor, APD Sgt. Eddie Smith, APD Chief Buddy Hill, Athens Fire Department Firefighter Brian Davis, AFD Firefighter Aaron Munn and AFD Firefighter Payton Lambe.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif HC fine-tuning application to get CETZ funds

    It’s been three months since Henderson County got word that money has been allocated from the Texas Department of Transportation in the form of a County Energy Transportation Zone grant, but Commissioners Court is still fine-tuning its application to get the funds.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo