Sewell tournament a hit

Published 4:30 am Sunday, August 3, 2008

Johnny Moss III, Duane Evans and Beau Boyd finished atop the leader board at the first A.A. Sewell/S-Team Golf Classic on Friday. The tournament also raised more than $3,000 for the Selma High athletic program.

But the tournament’s headliner overshadowed the win and the money.

Former Selma High basketball coach, A.A. Sewell arrived late in the afternoon, and left his mark on the day’s festivities.

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“I think it’s a beautiful gesture to honor Coach Sewell,” said Selma High cheerleading coach Patricia Farrior.

Despite his wheelchair and weakened voice, his eyes and smile showcased alertness and excitement, and his sense of humor remained tack-sharp.

When asked if most of the players he coached had gone on to do big things, he looked directly at Selma High School athletic director Patrick Evans, and said, “All except Patrick.” The comment was met with a roar of laughter.

“He was the drawing card for this,” said Evans. “I think he’s feeling very, very, very happy. I think he’s appreciative that everybody would come out.”

And come out everybody did. His former players, assistants and rivals dotted the tournament field. As Sewell observed the action, his eyes lit up and his grin broadened with every face he saw.

Few claimed a good day on the course, but none took part just to play golf.

“A.A. Sewell was the guy. I’m here to support him,” said James Lewis, former Carver High head coach and Sewell rival. “We were friends off the basketball court, because on the basketball court there was a bitter rivalry.”

His brother-in-law, Frank Humphrey, came from Montgomery to participate.

“I wouldn’t miss this tournament for the world,” said Humphrey. “I wanted to support (Sewell) as well as well as Selma High School.”

Selma City Council President George Evans threw his hat into the competition as well. His golf game was off, but he, like most, enjoyed the event profusely.

“I think it’s a wonderful beginning for the athletic program at Selma High,” said Evans. “I’m proud to be a part of it. I think it’s going to bring a lot of recognition back to the school and back to the program.”

Lost between Sewell’s recognition and Selma High’s fundraising is the golf itself. Moss, Evans and Boyd combined to shoot a 56, putting them seven strokes ahead of the competition. The team of Randall Miller, I.B. Hopson and Moses Nyurailab took second place. Third place was awarded to the team of George Hicks, Anthony Forbes, and Lynn Sherman.