Randy Smith: How About Academics This Time?

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Acts 20:35

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Academics vs. athletics?  How many times have we all proclaimed that we wished the academic champion was valued as much as the athletic all-star?  Well, there’s now a chance to put that talk in to action.

Lakeview Ft. Oglethorpe High School’s Academic Decathlon team recently brought home the state championship and earned the right to represent the state of Georgia at the National Academic Decathlon.  The team is made up of 9 students and 2 coaches.

  Since school began in August, the team has trained and practiced nearly every day…just like a championship team does for any competition.  Ultimately, the hard work, talent, and dedicated coaching led to the title that very few high school students ever achieve, “state champions”!  So now it is on to National Competition…or is it?  This year the Nationals are being held in Hawaii.  9 students, 2 coaches…airline tickets, hotels, meals for a week.  There’s $10,000 to be raised in less than two months.  Actually, to book tickets at the best rate, the bulk of the money needs to be raised in two weeks.  Very few of us could write a check for $900 if our child was one of these champions, but for some families, coming up with an extra $9 can be a challenge.  Some children in our schools have NO ONE to write a check for them for anything, but the children persevere and continue to achieve.  So who is willing to put some money where your mouth is and donate to help these academic champions?  We’ve all spent at least $10 to watch a mediocre team play at some time or another.  How about chipping in $10 to send a champion to compete at the national level?  One school official has said they need 1,000 people to give $10 or ONE generous person to give $10,000.  If you are reading this, I am guessing you fit in one of these categories or somewhere in between. 

Think about the return on your investment if you decide to donate to send these champions to national competition.  You’ve shown that you value academic excellence.  You’re sending a message to these students that to excel academically is important.  You’ve helped a child (that has exhausted every option to seize the opportunity) to be encouraged to achieve more than anyone they know has ever achieved.  You’ve inspired them to do more, be better, reach higher.  What a great way to spend a few bucks! 

Send donations…quickly…to:

LFO Decathlon
1850 Battlefield Parkway
Fort Oglethorpe, G  30742


Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com

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