Several events involving athletes with Winslow connections made the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18 a memorable one. Both involved the children of former students of mine who are performing at a higher level now. Both former students involved happen to have been excellent students and are people now considered good friends.
Cory Sullivan of the Colorado Rockies has been the subject of quite a few articles and columns of mine in the past. He is the son of Sean and Gerri Sullivan, both Winslow High School graduates. Sean is the son of Helen Sullivan Campbell and the late Neil Sullivan. Gerri is the daughter of the late Milton Herrera.
In a previous interview, Cory said that Sean was his hero as a youngster and still was. That was a statement that spoke volumes about both men. Not many fathers I know would not love to be regarded that highly by their sons or daughters. My knowledge of Sean would tend to prove that Cory's admiration is deserved. He has been a success in life and is the type of former student any teacher would be proud to know he or she played a small role in the type of adult he became.
I had a nice visit with Sean, Gerri and their daughter prior to Sunday's game. Sean had arranged for me to take a bat Cory had used back to Winslow High School baseball coach Art Griffith to be given to the current Bulldogs star centerfielder Jordan Payne. Cory said that he had hated to see that bat break as he had batted over .400 with it and hit two home runs Jordan can be thankful that he has a coach who thinks enough of him to arrange for such a souvenir.
Cory went three for five on Sunday with a double, two runs scored and one batted in. He has made adjustments that have allowed him to gain approximately 20 points on his batting average in recent weeks and end the Diamondbacks series hitting a highly respectable.287. He has good speed, a fine throwing arm and is an excellent defensive outfielder.
My return home resulted in a chance meeting with Sally Guzman who boasted of the exploits of her son Brandon as a football player at Scottsdale Community College. Brandon is a sophomore and is starting his second year as a key part of the Artichokes' offensive line. He started as a pulling guard during the 2004 season, but has moved to center for the current campaign.
Brandon is 6'2", 270 pounds and will likely be a prime recruit for some four year college. The Artichokes defeated New Mexico Military 25-6 in Roswell that Saturday to run their current record to 2-1. In previous games, the Artichokes had beaten Copper State 20-12 and lost to Arizona Western 23-20. The Artichokes were to host Dixie College on Saturday. Sally and husband Michael were planning to attend that game as well.
Winslow has a number of WHS graduates playing in colleges around the United States. Stephanie Garnett is at ASU where she will be a key part of their track program. Anthony Carter is playing football at the University of New Mexico. Erica Armenta is playing softball at Texas A and M= Corpus Christi while her brother Lucas will be playing baseball at Seminole College in Oklahoma. Juliet Sullenberger is playing softball at Scottsdale. Tessa Ramsey is playing softball at Southern Virginia. John Sullivan is playing football at Haskell University in Kansas. There are probably just as many more former Bulldogs enjoying success at a higher level that either slip my memory or whom I have never known about.
When we add athletes like Cory Sullivan who have Winslow connections but are not themselves WHS graduates, the list would be phenomenal. In the past, for instance, such a list could include Olympic gold medal winner (in pole vault) Nick Hysong, whose parents Cranston and Susie were both WHS graduates.