Book Finish - Robert Burnett The Author

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Book Finish - Robert Burnett The Author
Editoral Master NEW CASTLE NEWS 2014
EVEN PAGE
A2
NEW CASTLE NEWS,
FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Grayscale CYAN
B/W
YELLOW MAGENTA
BLACK
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A2
NEW CASTLE NEWS, FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
Title
From page A1
Longhorns’ championship season concluded, but subsequent
career moves and
responsibilities limited
the time he could devote
to the project.
“But with each year
that went by, I got to
thinking ‘Boy, that was a
heck of an accomplishment,’ ” he said. “It had
never been done before,
and it’s never been done
since. And that group of
kids was special. As I
look back now, I see
how that (season)
changed attitudes about
those kids, even amongst
themselves.
“I received a Facebook
note from a kid who
wasn’t even on the team.
He was at the institution,
but not on the team, and
he said, ‘I didn’t play for
you, Coach Burnett, but
that inspired me to be
successful in my life.’
Stuff like that made me
realize, ‘Wow, that’s
huge.’ ”
Burnett’s book offers
impressive game-bygame recollections of the
Longhorns’ season,
mined from scorebooks;
conversations with players like Myers, Harris
and Rich Miller, with
whom Burnett has
stayed in touch; and
memories he says
are burned into his
mind.
“If we go back to
the first game we
played, which was
Kennedy Christian, even
25 years later, almost
every aspect of that doggone game is still in my
brain,” he said. “I can
remember what I was
thinking, saying, and
how each player was
reacting.”
MORE THAN
SCORES
In addition to reconstructing the season,
there are two things that
Burnett resolved to do in
writing his book. One
was not to dwell on the
fact that the Longhorns
had one female player on
their roster, a rarity especially in the 1980s.
“She never really
played in a varsity
game,” he said, before
adding with a laugh,
“although in the movie
script, she’s a
star. She’s
making
all kinds
of
improbable
shots,
but I
didn’t
write the
movie
script.”
Burnett’s second goal
was to pull no punches
in describing the pain he
was experiencing while
his wife sought a divorce,
and the passages that
touch on that matter are
packed with raw, sometimes uncomfortable,
emotion.
“I put that stuff in
there because I didn’t
want somebody to pick
up a book and read just
a straight basketball
story,” he said. “Not only
did the kids have emotional issues to deal with,
but I did as well. That
season helped me get my
mind off some of the
things that I was going
through.
“I actually hope it will
be read by somebody
having problems with
their children, their marriage or other problems
with life in general, and
maybe they’ll get something out of that.”
READING
THE BOOK
In just a few
months’ time, Burnett’s book already
has received some
impressive attention. He did a halfhour interview
with a
Boston
radio
station on his mentoring
of Frew Mill’s players,
and he’s headed this
weekend to speak in
Baltimore, where the
Baltimore Times Book
Club made “All The Way
Down” its book of the
month for April.
Local readers will
have just a bit more
work to do, though,
than those in such farflung cities. Although
Burnett’s original manuscript used actual
names of schools and
players around
Lawrence County, his
publisher’s attorneys
suggested that he use
fictional monikers in the
final product as a legal
precaution.
To help in translation,
Burnett has kept each
opponents’ nickname
the same — the Farmdale Longhorns, the
Oakland Scotties, the
Moraine Wildcats, and
so forth — and in many
cases, he even has preserved the initials of
spotlighted individuals.
Legendary Mohawk
coach John Samsa
becomes Jack Sullivan,
Wilmington mentor Kim
Foley (in a hilarious
story about what Burnett perceives as a pregame “clothes war”)
turns into Kyle Farrior.
Burnett himself takes
the name Wendell Burns,
and a certain New Castle
News (a.k.a. Newberry
Times) sports writer who
fails to pick Frew Mill to
win the section title
(thanks for that
reminder, Bob) is rechristened Darryl Benjamin.
“After I changed the
names, I thought how
all those kids who
played against us —
who are now in their
40s and who still live in
Lawrence County and
have kids of their own
— would have fun figuring out who’s who, and
saying to their children,
‘That’s my character,’ ”
Burnett said.
Still, Burnett’s readers
won’t be limited just to
former coaches and
players who crossed
Frew Mill’s path 26
years ago. Now the
head track coach and
assistant girls basketball
coach at Cornell High
School, Burnett said he
finds some of his current athletes quoting
him from the book.
“When people read it,
I really want them to
get into the people as
much as the basketball,” he said. “We’re
all flawed, and we all
have something to overcome in life. My kids on
the team did, and I did,
too. And I think that’s
the most important
thing.
“It was tough,
because you have to be
careful what you say, or
you can be held
accountable. I tried to
treat it very tenderly,
but I thought it was
necessary.”
(Email: d_irwin
@ncnewsonline.com)
In this file photo, then-Frew Mill basketball coach
Bob Burnett sports his Longhorns’ jacket and cap.
Ohio man
jailed on
assault,
drug charges
A Youngstown man
who allegedly fought
with a woman outside a
convenience store was
jailed on assault and
drug charges.
New Castle police
arrested Jason Laroy
Howell Jr., 25, around 5
p.m. Wednesday in the
700 block of Croton
Avenue. Police said he
had been in a physical
fight with a woman in a
car. When the car left
the parking lot, police
followed it and pulled
Howell over on Ray
Street. Officers said he
did not have his identification card and his
license was not valid.
Police smelled marijuana coming from his car,
they said, and saw a
plastic bag containing
suspected marijuana on
the passenger’s seat. A
suspected marijuana cigarette was on the dashboard in plain view,
according to police.
When officers searched
him, they said, they
found $2,015 in his pockets. The money was separated into $100 bundles
and one $115 bundle.
The woman who had
been at the store had a
bruised and swollen eye
and her lower lip was
cut, police said.
Police have charged
Howell with simple
assault, disorderly conduct, harassment, possession of marijuana,
driving without a license
and failure to carry
license, as well as two
counts each of possession of a small amount
of marijuana and use or
possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arraigned by
District Judge Melissa A.
Amodie, who sent him to
the Lawrence County jail
in lieu of $25,000 bond.
Mayor
to present
report on
meeting
Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo plans to give a
report to council next
week on his meeting
with North American
Dental Group.
The mayor and administrative staff met with
Kenneth L. Cooper, chief
executive officer, and
Drs. Andrew Matta and
Chad Wise last week. All
three are founders and
partners in North American Dental Group.
Mastrangelo said the
company plans to make a
presentation to council in
April or May. The company moved its corporate
headquarters from Canfield, Ohio, to Cascade
Center at the Riverplex in
downtown New Castle
about a year ago.
The city set up the
meeting to address some
concerns, including the
number of people
employed at the corporate office, the investment the company is
making in the building
and its commitment to
marketing some of the
retail space in the structure.
Mastrangelo also said
company and city officials agreed to meet on a
quarterly basis
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