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  • Writer's pictureRay Sugg

2018-06-19 Snowbird!

Since I started teaching and coaching at Tuscola High School back in 2001, I have been part of an annual week-after-graduation camping/fishing trip at Snowbird Creek. Coach Doug Brooks started the trip for his assistant coaches long before I started teaching there, and regulars include Colonel Bill Brooks, Jim Fox, Larry Brow, Danny Shook, Brian Craig, Mike Sutton and his sons Andrew and Robert, and Terry Rathbone and his grandson Jones Heinz. The fishing is always good, but the big draw is the great food and great fellowship around the fire. Each day starts with a big breakfast, then we break up into groups for the day's fishing. Colonel Brooks enjoys a good hike as much as fishing, and I usually like to hike in somewhere to find a new creek, so we get the maps out and fish together at least once. The only camp rule is don't be late for supper, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of six o'clock, and supper never disappoints! When you finish eating, you better throw your plate in the fire quick, or Doug Brooks will come by and pile more food on it - I think I ate five pounds of potatoes this year. After supper I get out the guitar and we jam on some Eagles, Buffett, and Marshall Tucker tunes. I wonder if the AC Reynolds football players know how good Coaches Brow and Craig can sing? With so many coaches, sooner or later the talk around the campfire transitions from the day's fishing to football. I never get tired of hearing Danny Shook talk about the characters on his two state championship teams at Pisgah High School, or Jim Fox talk about coaching a high school all-star team to a win without throwing a single pass ("when you throw the ball, there ain't but three things that can happen, and two of 'em's bad"). Coach Fox is the unofficial Mayor of Rosman, and he does not fish - he is just there to talk and keep the fire going, both of which he is very good at! When Coach Brooks is in a talking mood, you get anything from Clemson's prospects for next year to how to run the wishbone to how train a good fighting rooster. I have not verified this next tale, but I believe it to be true - rumor has it that he told Heath Shuler (Swain High, UT, and NFL quarterback) that he would have played tackle at Tuscola. At the end of the week, we get up, eat breakfast, and break camp, and then I try to go home by way of a new creek and fish until dark. At this point, Summer has officially begun, but by next May, we will all be making plans to meet at Snowbird again. Raise a glass to traditions!

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