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Dezmon Briscoe Jersey

After a short professional football career, Dezmon Briscoe is back in Lawrence to finish his degree. The former wide receiver is looking to get a degree in communications with a minor in sports management.

In his time back in Lawrence, Briscoe has spent time with KU football. He’s witnessed a new mood around the program.

“I’ve been around,” Briscoe told Phog.net after the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic back in June. “My first semester back was this past spring semester. So I’ve been around the players, I’ve been around the locker room. We’re pretty high right now, the players are really happy and they’re working their butts off.”

Briscoe originally came to Kansas as a three-star prospect as a part of Mark Mangino’s 2007 recruiting class. Briscoe was an important player as a freshman. He was fourth on the 2007 team in receptions with 43 and was second in touchdown receptions with seven. He set the record for most touchdown catches as a freshman.

The Dallas-native took a step forward as a sophomore and was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team. Briscoe set program records in single-season receptions (92) and single season yards (1,407).

As a junior, Briscoe didn’t match the production he had a sophomore but was named to the All-Big 12 First Team. Briscoe set the KU all-time receiving yards record, notching 3,240 yards over three seasons.

Following his junior year, Briscoe decided to enter his name into the NFL Draft. In retrospect, it was a decision Briscoe wishes he could have back.

“If I could do it all over again, I would have come back for my senior season,” Briscoe said. “Just because the college atmosphere and the brothers I had that I went to war with, man you can’t get that back.”

Briscoe was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 31st pick in the sixth round (191 overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft. After he signed a four-year deal, Briscoe was subsequently waived during final cuts.

The former Jayhawk then landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he made his debut in Week 16 during the 2010 season. In 2011, Briscoe played in all 16 games for the Buccaneers and caught 35 balls for 387 yards including six touchdown receptions.

In 2012, Briscoe was signed by the Washington Redskins and played in seven games during the subsequent season. Briscoe has not made a roster during the regular-season since.

Since he first left KU, Briscoe hasn’t been back to campus as much as he’d like.

“If they’re doing the bowl inductions, like the Insight Bowl or the Orange Bowl, that’s when I’ve been back,” Briscoe said. “I’ll be a lot more present now that I’m back on campus and around the program.”

Gus Tebell Jersey

Mount Holly native played for the old Brooklyn Dodgers in 1933 before resuming military career during World War II

Entering the 2019 season, 23 Gaston County products have played major league baseball.

The second of those who reached the pinnacle of playing America’s pastime was Mount Holly’s William Austin Outen.

A member of the 2019 Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame induction class on May 13 at Gastonia Conference Center, Outen broke into the major leagues in 1933 with old Brooklyn Dodgers. It was part of an 11-year professional baseball career as a catcher and power-hitting left-handed batter.

Born in 1905 in Mount Holly, North Carolina, he was the oldest of eight children of James Franklin Outen and Farris F. Allen Outen.

Before starting school, his father was named superintendent of a cotton mill in the Gaston County township of River Bend and the family moved to that community.

William Outen later enlisted into the U.S. military before graduating from old Mount Holly High in 1925 at the age of 20 after playing football and baseball for the school

He then played football, baseball and track at N.C. State in the late 1920s.

N.C. State was called North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering when Outen played football for Gus Tebell and baseball for Charles Doak (for whom the school’s current baseball field is named) and in 1928 was captain of both teams and in 1927 a member of the school’s first football championship team.

William Outen’s semipro career began in 1926 when played catcher for the Mount Holly Yarners of the local American Yarn and Processing Company. He later played semipro in Charlotte in 1927 and 1928 and in Concord in 1928.

In November 1928, he took a $1,200 signing bonus with the New York Yankees and went to spring training in 1929.

After playing in Asheville, Greenville, S.C., Albany, Ga., Jersey City, N.J., and Scranton, Pa., the Dodgers bought William Outen’s contract in 1932 and placed him on the major league roster in 1933.

A backup to then 24-year-old catcher Al Lopez (an eventual Baseball Hall of Famer), William Outen played in 93 games and hit .248 with four home runs and 17 RBIs for a 65-88 team that finished sixth in the eight-team National League.

William Outen’s niece Rachel Outen Goodrum only knew her uncle briefly but heard stories from her father Raymond Franklin Outen, who was 12 years younger than William Outen.

“He got to meet some of the big boys like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (of the New York Yankees) and he backed up Al Lopez,” Goodrum said.

One of Goodrum’s favorite stories involves something William Outen did after he made the major leagues.

Though he never played in the majors again after 1933, he spent five more years in professional baseball, playing in Buffalo, Montreal, Mission (San Francisco), Hollywood, Lenoir, Mayodan, Lexington and Spartanburg.

When William Outen played for Mission, he hit a home out of the stadium in San Francisco.

“The story I was told was that he not only hit the ball out of the stadium,” Goodrum said. “But when it hit out of the stadium, it bounced into the window of a taxi cab driver.”

After William Outen’s baseball career ended in 1939, he wasn’t out of action for long as he was recalled by the Army with the outbreak of World War II. William Outen served in the European and Mediterranean theaters as a corporal in the military police.

After the war ended, he joined the Army Corps of Engineers as a sergeant stationed in Hawaii in 1946.

Upon leaving the military, he was a wool dyer who later died from complications of lung cancer on Sept. 11, 1961 at a veteran’s hospital in Durham at the age of 56. He was later interred at Mount Holly Cemetery.

“Our daddy took us to see our uncle in the hospital in Durham,” Goodrum said of her, her sister and brother. “That’s the last time we saw him.”

In August 2012, William Outen was inducted into the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame and six family members and a family friend attended the ceremony.

This time, Goodrum is hopeful her family will again be represented.

“I live in Huntersville and we have some family in Smithfield in Eastern North Carolina,” she said. “We’re really excited about it and happy to hear he’s being honored by Gaston County.”

Eric Bailey Jersey

Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!

We are officially in college football’s offseason, and no matter what happens over the next seven month, I just hope no Oklahoma Sooners are caught up in campus shenanigans like having their car Barnacle’d. What the hell does that even mean? Just watch.

OU Parking Services will implement a new tool called the Barnacle beginning Jan. 21, 2020. Check out this video to learn more about it: pic.twitter.com/AYfaAZmAVI

— OU Daily (@OUDaily) January 14, 2020
If finding parking on campus wasn’t frustrating enough, OU Parking Services decided to implement a device that’s an alternative to having one’s car towed. They call it a Barnacle, and basically it prevents you from driving away because you’re unable to see through your windshield. Oh, and it’s alarm enabled, just to make it more annoying.

Now first of all, I like my chances of hulking out and breaking this thing off my car. I, indeed, lift bro. Secondly, if this is on my car, I’m already pissed because that means somebody touched my car, and I’m blaming every single scratch on you. Bet. You will be hearing from my insurance company, bub. I’ve got USAA, homie. Don’t test me.

Okay, all kidding aside, the premise of this method makes (a tiny bit of) sense, because I think more people would rather find this on their car then not find their car at all, but if they’re going to be tagging students with this on top of literally everything else those kiddos have to pay for, then this should only be viewed as a monstrous thing to do. I don’t care if I’m parked literally inside Dale Hall. Just slap a ticket inside my wiper blade and move on. I’ll pay it, scout’s honor.

Also, you just know some dude is going to attempt to drive around like Ace Ventura with his head out the window, so it’s a public safety issue. Bet you didn’t think about that, OU Parking Services.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! OU falls in final AP Poll, national championship odds for the Sooners have been released, Chuba is back and more!

OU Links
Tonight is a big night for OU Basketball! The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks are coming to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, and best of all, Top Daug is back! Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN. Boomer!
Big one at our place tonight. Bring the noise, Sooner Nation.

No. 6 Kansas
⏰ 8 pm CT
LNC
ESPN
https://t.co/dKlGllWs56
https://t.co/OulRlzKGH5#YouBelongHere pic.twitter.com/rgzlyXzk9l

— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) January 14, 2020
Speaking of OU Hoops, Sooners Wire’s Brayden Conover broke down three things Oklahoma will have to do in order to pull off the upset over KU tonight.
Oklahoma officially finishes the 2019-20 college football season ranked No. 7 in the final AP Poll. The poor performance in the Peach Bowl is certainly reflected in these rankings, so with that in mind it’s hard to argue against.
Speaking of rankings, several outlets have released their own way-too-early top 25 polls now that the latest season is entirely in the books. USA Today has the Sooners at No. 5, Sporting News ranks Oklahoma No. 7, and ESPN slots OU at No. 8.
With 22-1 odds, Oklahoma is tied with the seventh-best odds to win the college football national championship next season according to Caesars Sportsbook. The Clemson Tigers are actually the current overall favorite with 2-1 odds.
Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World caught up with OU kicker Gabe Brkic who has yet to miss a placekick in his young college career. He talked about how he’s approaching the next season, and if he feels any extra pressure to keep his streak of perfection alive.
A total of eight Sooners appear in ESPN’s list of the 150 greatest college football players of all-time, which is tied for second-most for any single program. Boomer!
Some of the greatest this game has ever seen.

8️⃣ #Sooners among the top #CFB150 players of all time, tied for second-most of any program.https://t.co/7Fk1jubZdY | #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/NayYnzgeGH

— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 14, 2020
Around the Sports World
On Monday, Oklahoma State Cowboys RB Chuba Hubbard surprised a lot of fans by announcing his decision to return to OSU for the 2020 season. The Canadian sprinter took college football by storm in 2019, leading the nation in total rushing with 2,094 yards.
Life is good pic.twitter.com/EIIpkJoAgl

— Chuba Hubbard (@Hubbard_RMN) January 13, 2020
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander did something only a select few have ever accomplished as second-year players — a 20 point, 20 rebound triple double in a 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. That’s some amazing company right there.
Making history.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shaquille O’Neal
Charles Barkley
Oscar Robertson pic.twitter.com/4RHgv6gaPn

— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 14, 2020
On Monday, Houston Cougars QB D’Eriq King made his decision to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal official. If you recall after four games in 2019, the dynamic dual-threat made a controversial decision to sit out the rest of the season to preserve a year of eligibility, so now he’ll be immediately available to play wherever he lands.
I’ve entered the portal I think it’s best for me and my family!

— King (@DeriqKing_) January 14, 2020 Eric Bailey Jersey

Retired NFL WR Chad Johnson aka ‘Ochocinco’ is taking his talents to the XFL as a kicker. Well, he has to do well in try-outs first, but I don’t see how they turn him down. The fact that a former receiver of his caliber wants to move to kicker is enough of a television draw for a league that will need the numbers.

Chuck Shonta Jersey

The fledgling American Football League needed attention – and a strong national television contract – so naturally it turned to New York for one of its inaugural franchises.

Enter Harry Wismer, a colorful, volatile character with a long history as a sports announcer. In 1953, he had done play-by-play for the first prime-time, national NFL television package, Saturday nights on the DuMont Network.

Among many other things, he was a part-owner of the Redskins in the 1950s, during which time he feuded with owner George Preston Marshall over Marshall’s controversial foot-dragging in signing African-American players. (It took him until 1962 to do so.)

Wismer was not as deep-pocketed as many of his fellow new AFL owners, and he did have financial partners, especially from the oil business, in which Wismer also served as an executive.

But long term, the hope was that being in New York would pay off for him and for the league, as it had for the Maras and the NFL Giants decades earlier.

Wismer was granted control of the franchise at the AFL’s organizational meeting in Chicago in August of 1959 and quickly set out to sell his new project. He called the team the Titans. Why Titans?

“Titans are bigger and stronger than giants,” he explained.

At that point there were only six AFL franchises, in New York, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul. But Wismer, head of the league’s television committee, promised two more teams would be added, and that the league would seek a TV contract worth $2.5 million.

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(Minneapolis eventually bailed in favor of an NFL expansion team, and the AFL added Boston, Buffalo and Oakland.)

There initially was confusion over where the Titans would play. The New York Times speculated about ancient baseball stadiums in the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, or a planned new baseball stadium in Flushing, Queens.

Wismer wooed New York sportswriters with a series of news conferences at his apartment on Park Avenue, hiring recently fired Penn coach Steve Sebo as general manager and Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh as coach.

Newsday’s Stan Isaacs wrote of Baugh, a Texan, “He looked as if he had just parked his horse on Park Avenue.”

Baugh was 45, but many journalists and fans suggested he might be the best choice to play quarterback, given the challenges the AFL faced in signing talented players.

Receiver Don Maynard, who had played for the Giants in 1958 and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL in 1959, was an early signing.

Newsday’s Ed Comerford wrote Maynard “didn’t impress in two seasons with the Giants and played Canadian football last year. His scouting report says: fast, but butterfingered.”

Maynard was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

The lordly Giants did not take any of this lying down. In January 1960, owners Jack and Wellington Mara sent AFL commissioner Joe Foss a letter offering the possibility of cooperation between the leagues.

Just two little requests: 1. Void the contract fullback Charlie Flowers had signed with the Los Angeles Chargers after the Giants thought they had secured his services. 2. Move the Titans to a different city.

“It is our opinion that every city is a one-team city,” the Giants wrote in their letter.

“I violently disagree with the Giants’ view about a one-team city,” Wismer responded, then added, “I also resent the lack of confidence the Giants have in the people of New York.”

Things started out a bit rocky for Baugh’s boys, who found less-than-ideal conditions at training camp in Durham, New Hampshire, including food so awful it turned into a story in the Times.

As it turned out, the Titans were not terrible on the field. They finished 7-7 and led the AFL with 382 points. But they had plenty of hiccups.

That included a play in their second game, a 28-24 loss to the Patriots at the Polo Grounds on Sept. 17. Chuck Shonta returned a fumbled punt by the Jets 25 yards for the winning score on the last play of the game.

Wismer later called it “stupid football.”

Baugh responded, “I don’t give a goddamn what Mr. Wismer says.”

Wismer said he had lost $250,000 in the first season. By 1962, the league had to take over the team’s financial affairs. In 1963, they became the Jets upon being sold to a group headed by Sonny Werblin.

Wismer died at 54 in 1967. He fell down the stairs of a Manhattan restaurant and fractured his skull.

Dale Jones Jersey

It’s now official, Louisville football is losing one assistant coach this off season. Inside linebackers coach Dale Jones is leaving Louisville to go back to Appalachian State.

Jones will be the defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers under new coach Shawn Clark, the school announced today. Much of Jones’ coaching career took place at Appalachian State, before leaving to join Scott Satterfield at Louisville this season.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Jones coached for the Mountaineers from 1996-2018. In those 22 years, Jones had various roles. He coached the defensive line and linebackers, and acted as the defensive coordinator from 2010-12. He was the co-defensive coordinator, shared with Bryan Brown, in 2018.

Under Jones, linebacker C.J. Avery had a breakout season. The junior had a team-high, and career-high, 93 tackles.

More: Sports statues transcend athletics. So what are Lamar Jackson’s chances of getting one?

Jones’ departure will open an assistant coaching position for Louisville. According to NCAA rules, a team is limited to a maximum of 10 assistant coaches, Satterfield is not required to add another inside linebackers coach. Co-defensive coordinator Cort Dennison also coaches the outside linebackers, but historically Satterfield has had two linebackers coaches.

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Jones is the only inside linebackers coach Satterfield has ever had. He’ll now move to hiring a new assistant before spring practice begins.

Tim Ross Jersey

(Bloomberg) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned European countries that their soldiers in the Middle East could be exposed to greater danger in the future if instability fueled by the presence of their American counterparts continues.

Europe’s ties to Iran risk becoming collateral damage in the spreading confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Germany, France and the U.K. on Tuesday started formal action against the Islamic Republic for breaching restrictions on uranium enrichment set out in the 2015 nuclear accord, which has been crumbling since the U.S. withdrew 20 months ago and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran wanted U.S. forces to exit the region “sensibly” to improve stability, before he extended his caution to Europe.

“Stop making so many mistakes and return,” he said in a cabinet meeting broadcast live on TV. “Today U.S. soldiers are in danger, tomorrow European soldiers may also be in danger.”

The European powers said their move to trigger the nuclear deal’s dispute mechanism aims to turn up the pressure on Iran with the ultimate goal of salvaging the multiparty agreement. But the intervention risks propelling the sides into greater conflict as Tehran struggles to deal with fallout from the U.S. killing on Jan. 3 of its top general, Iran’s retaliatory missile salvos and international outrage over the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner by on-edge Iranian security forces.

Iranians have been outraged by the news that their own armed forces — often boastful of their prowess — had not only shot down a passenger plane but had concealed the fact from the public for three days. Thousands protested against the leadership in cities nationwide.

The U.K. ambassador to Iran, Rob Macaire, was briefly arrested after attending a vigil for the victims that later morphed into an anti-regime protest. He has left the country to return to London for a routine visit that’s not a response to his detention, a person familiar with the matter said.

While accepting responsibility for bringing down the plane and calling on the military to fully explain its actions, Rouhani and other Iranian leaders have blamed the U.S. for creating the conditions that led to it, demanding that American forces end a decades-long presence in the region.

That has been taken up in neighboring Iraq, where Shiite lawmakers with ties to Tehran and the outgoing prime minister called for talks on a mechanism to advance the U.S. departure, but have been rebuffed by Washington.

A commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, on Wednesday said officials withheld informing the public that Iranian missiles had hit the jet “in the interests of national security.” Separately, the military said it’s investigating whether radar interference had a role in the debacle.

The U.S. and Iran have both stepped back from further military conflict as allies in Europe and the Gulf warned over the potentially catastrophic consequences of a broader war.

But the U.S. imposed new sanctions last week and called on European signatories to the nuclear deal to dump the accord and insist on Iran negotiating a new treaty that extends enrichment caps intended to prevent it developing a nuclear weapon.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday threw his weight behind a new “Trump deal” even as his government has stood by its European allies in seeking to keep the current version alive.

Rouhani dismissed Johnson’s idea and urged European countries to reverse their decision to activate the dispute mechanism.

“Mr. Johnson, I don’t know what he’s thinking when he says that instead of the nuclear deal we should implement a Trump plan. Other than violate international contracts, what else has Trump done?” Rouhani said.

–With assistance from Tim Ross.

To contact the reporter on this story: Golnar Motevalli in Dubai at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at [email protected], Mark Williams, Amy Teibel

Marquess Wilson Jersey

Mississippi State Director of Athletics John Cohen spoke to the media the day that head coach Joe Moorhead was fired and said that people should take any rumors of the coaching search with a grain of salt and not believe anything unless he said it.

That proved to be true on Thursday morning when he shocked the college football world by hiring Washington State coach Mike Leach to run the program in 2020.

Leach comes to Starkville after years in the Power 5 producing one of the nation’s highest powering passing offenses. Year in and year out. His innovative style has influenced countless coaches and quarterbacks at schools across the country and now he’s bringing it to the SEC.

So how did Leach ultimately find himself in Starkville? A timeline of what he’s done over the last 30 years or so in college football.

1997 – KENTUCKY OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

(Photo: Vaught News )

Let’s fast forward all the way back to Leach’s first and only trip inside the Southeastern Conference back when MSU was preparing to be the best of the Western division and make its only SEC title game appearance.

Leach was getting his first major assistant coaching gig after 10 years of working his way up the ladder. He was a brilliant young mind with three different degrees. He graduated with honors from BYU, got his master’s from the U.C. Sports Academy and was in the top of his class at Pepperdine law where he earned a degree as well.

Football would be where he was called, however, and after three years on the job he first met up with a coach by the name of Hal Mumme. These two would change each other’s lives at Iowa Wesleyan in 1989. The two worked in some concepts from BYU coach LaVell Edwards and popularized an Air-Raid offense that would make both of them successful.

After coaching at Iowa Wesleyan under Mumme from 1989-91, he followed the coach to Valdosta State for five years before Mumme earned the Kentucky job. Leach took over the offense as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Leach took on quarterback Tim Couch in a league that was known for running the football and they would set records across the board.

In 1997, Couch threw for 3,884 yards in 11 games with 37 touchdowns. They improved the Wildcats’ win total by a game that year to go 5-6, but Couch was developing into a superstar. In 1998, UK went 7-5 and made its first bowl game since 1993. It was also the most wins by the team since 1984 as Couch threw for 4,275 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy Finalist, the SEC Player of the Year and first-team All-American and that senior season was the greatest in SEC history until Tim Tebow came along in 2007.

It began to open eyes across the country that Mumme and Leach’s offense worked and was something that hadn’t been seen before. It gave him bigger opportunities ahead and he ran with it.

1999 – OKLAHOMA OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR

Leach joined Bob Stoops’ first staff in Norman, Okla., as the first-time head coach needed someone to resurge the offense. Boy, did he.

The Sooners averaged 293 yards of total offense the year prior to his arrival. They were 11th in the Big 12 in 1998 and were 101 nationally in total offense. In one year, Leach took that offense to 427 yards a game and 11th nationally. They would set 17 school records and six Big 12 records in that one season as they went 7-5.

The Sooners did this with a junior college quarterback by the name of Josh Heupel. The first-year quarterback threw the pigskin around 500 times and for 3,460 yards with 30 touchdowns. The year after Leach left, the Sooners won the national championship with the foundation laid and Heupel was the Heisman winner. Heupel has taken some of the concepts he learned from Leach and incorporated it into his own head coaching spot at UCF.

But that one season in Oklahoma sealed the deal on Leach getting his shot as a head coach and he’s been one for the last 20 years.

2000 – TEXAS TECH HEAD COACH

(Photo: Getty)

Leach really burst on to the scene when he went to Texas Tech in 2000 and brought his Air-Raid with him. The Red Raiders went to a bowl game all 10 years that he was there and finished inside the top 25 five of those seasons. He had an 84-43 record and was 47-33 in Big 12 games, but controversy would be his undoing in Lubbock. Six times in his 10 years they were the top passing team in the country.

Quarterbacks like Kliff Kingsbury, Graham Harrell and Cody Hodges became household names. Harrell was one of the most prolific quarterback in the history of the NCAA when he left when he amassed 5,705 passing yards in a season. He was one of three Red Raiders to throw for over 5,000 yards, something that had only been done by six players in the history of NCAA football. He threw for 15,793 yards in his career and was the all-time leader in passing touchdowns with 134 when he left in 2008.

After winning seven games in the first two seasons at TTU, Leach never won less than eight the rest of the way including nine-win years in 2002, 2005 and 2007. His breakthrough season came in 2008 when he rode Harrell to an 11-1 regular season and a 7-1 record in the Big 12. Harrell and wide receiver Michael Crabtree were the top offensive duo in the country and the Red Raiders were in the running for a national championship.Marquess Wilson Jersey

They ended the season 11-2 with a loss to Ole Miss in the Cotton Bowl, but Leach was the Big 12 Coach of the Year. He was a hot name on the coaching circuit interviewing with Washington and being rumored for the job at Auburn as well. He chose to come back to Lubbock and he would face his final year judgement.

Louis Jackson Jersey

2019 Was “A Dream Come True” for the Talented Kansas City Actor
Keenan Ramos has chalked up a remarkable run of performances, particularly in the last year or so.

He was scheduled to close out 2019 with a role in the Unicorn Theatre production of “Bernhardt/Hamlet” for director Cynthia Levin. Before that, he appeared in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” produced by This Happy Breed and directed by Kyle Hatley. That show followed closely on the heels of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights,” directed by Nedra Dixon for MTH. The musical was preceded by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival production of “Shakespeare in Love.”

The Shakespeare festival came after two heavy dramas at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre — the North American premiere of “The Shawshank Redemption,” based on the Stephen King novella and directed by Bob Paisley, and August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” staged by Karen Paisley.

“I don’t know if I’ll have a better year than that one,” Ramos said. “It was all a dream come true.”

In 2018 he chalked up performances in the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Sweat,” by Lynn Nottage, at the Unicorn and the MTH production of the classic “My Fair Lady.” Earlier in his career, before a stint as a teacher in Salina, Kansas, audiences saw Ramos in “Head,” Kyle Hatley’s unique play about John the Baptist performed at the Fringe Festival, as well as plays and musicals at the Unicorn and the Coterie.

This year, he’s scheduled to appear in the new Forge Repertory Theatre production of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” in April and May.

Ramos, 38, pinpoints the moment the theater bug bit him. He was an athlete at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kansas. But one day his whole point of view shifted.

“I was a sports guy,” he said. “I was a very average football player and baseball player.”

But then he saw Nathan Louis Jackson, who was two years older, perform a monologue Jackson had written. That changed everything. Jackson, who began his professional career as an actor, would go on to achieve a national reputation as a playwright with dramas such as “Brokeology” and “When I Come to Die.” For several years he was Kansas City Rep’s resident playwright.

“I followed him to K-State,” Ramos said. “He moved to New York, I moved to New York. He’s been more like a brother to me than anything. I always gravitated to him. I just think he’s brilliant.”

Ramos’ upbringing in KCK puts him in an elite group of African American theater artists. In addition to Ramos and Jackson, the city has produced nationally known playwright Christina Anderson, actress/singer Angela Wildflower Polk and playwright/actor Lewis J. Morrow, director of new play development for KC MeltingPot Theatre.

Ramos said nothing about that surprises him.

“I think it’s experience,” he said. “People who come from that community, they witness a lot. They’ve gone through a lot. So it’s easy to tap into some of those emotions, the pathos.”

MeltingPot is one theater company where Ramos has not performed, although he hopes to. These days he makes ends meet by working in the box office at the Unicorn and loading and unloading planes at KCI.

Ramos, whose family tree includes Portuguese and Cherokee forebears, said few things are more important to him than exposing young people — particularly young people of color — to theater. He recalled a school matinee performance during the run of “Seven Guitars” at the MET.

“August Wilson, he’s a wordy guy,” Ramos said. “But those high school kids hung on to every word. I’m living proof that they need it, and that we can make a huge splash in the world of theater. I had that conversation with Sid Garrett (artistic director of the Shakespeare Festival) this summer. I loved how diverse the cast was. I had a kid come up to me and say, ‘Oh, I don’t think I could do that,’ and I said, ‘Yes, you can.’”

Some of his KCK colleagues have found success without benefit of formal training. He cited Lewis Morrow as a prime example.

“Lewis never went to school for writing, he never went to school for acting, but he’s doing it,” Ramos said. “I asked him how he learned, and he said, ‘I just started reading plays and watching plays on film, and the formula just kind of came to me.’ He’s a freak of nature.”

Ramos, who also plays the violin, said his mother was a school principal and his dad was a security guard. It was his father, who had been a college basketball player at Baker University, who encouraged him to play sports. But he also guided him into the arts in his own way — by watching movies that some parents wouldn’t have let their kids watch until they were older.

“I remember watching ‘Goodfellas’ and ‘The Godfather,’ and I remember my dad saying, ‘Hey — this is good acting,’” Ramos recalled. “Most kids were watching ‘Goonies’ and I was watching ‘Reservoir Dogs.’”

John Hardy Jersey

West Virginia old-time music mainstays David O’Dell and Pete Kosky — The MacAbre Brothers — have put together a new recording with an even dozen murder ballads. Three of these, John Hardy, Jay Legg and the Banks of Old Guyan, come from West Virginia.

These guys are familiar to fans of West Virginia music, having won their share of ribbons at the Vandalia Gathering, and having taught at Augusta and Allegheny Echoes.

O’Dell plays banjo on most of the selections, and Kosky guitar. Kosky plays the five string on “Pretty Polly.” Here his clean style underscores his heartfelt singing.

Odell has a bouncy, rhythmic touch on banjo, with chord accents, as on “Wild Bill Jones” and “Devil and Farmer’s Wife.”

The duo’s “Roving Gambler” echoes the Morris Brothers. O’Dell’s unaccompanied ballad “The Banks of Old Guyan” comes from the late Aunt Jenny Wilson of Logan County.

A project like this would make a good topic for an old-time music class at Augusta or Allegheny Echoes. You can’t hear enough singing in the old music. Lots of variety here, and while the material is treated with the utmost respect, nobody takes things too seriously.

Valentine’s Day is not too far off. Nothing says “I love you” like a CD of traditional murder ballads.

Available for $15 from David O’Dell at P.O. Box 302, Glenville, 26351, or online at roanerecords.bandcamp.com.

Larry Suchy Jersey

A total of 2,389 real-estate transactions were registered with the Erie County Clerk’s Office in August.

The list has been released this morning, and you’ll see below the 1,213 deals that were worth at least $100,000.

Transactions are ranked by sale price. The address of each parcel is shown in bold, along with the relevant town or city in brackets. (There are 25 towns and three cities in the county.)

Addresses and names are spelled and presented in the form provided by the clerk. Surnames precede first names and middle initials. Abbreviations indicate the intercession of an executor (“Ex”) or referee (“Ref”). A business name is indicated by “Dba,” for “doing business as.” If a sale was made by the survivors of a deceased individual, that is noted by “Sur.” And if a person goes by two names in legal documents (as with a maiden and married name), “Aka” indicates “also known as.”

ERIE COUNTY REAL-ESTATE TRANSACTIONS [AUGUST 2016]

• 395 Parkhurst Blvd 14223 [Town of Tonawanda] was sold for $7,870,192 by Pearce & Pearce Co Inc, Pearce & Pearce Co Inc et al to Lincoln Duplexes Llc, Lincoln Duplexes Llc on August 10.

• 1260 N Forest Rd 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $6,000,000 by St Clair Construction Corp to Bowdoin Square Apartments Llc on August 11.

• 901 Fuhrmann Blvd 14203 [Buffalo] was sold for $3,500,000 by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation on August 30.

• 4937 Transit Rd 14043 [Lancaster] was sold for $3,425,000 by Rpai New York Portfolio Llc to 5007 Transit Road Llc on August 1.

• 29 Florian St 14214 [Buffalo] was sold for $3,100,000 by 655 Hertel Llc, 655 Hertel Llc to Elmwood Village Charter School, Elmwood Village Charter School on August 1.

• 386 Alberta Dr 14226 [Amherst] was sold for $3,000,000 by Pearce & Pearce Co Inc to Alberta Square Apartments Llc on August 11.

• 172 North St East 14204 [Buffalo] was sold for $2,050,000 by Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority to City Honors/Fosdick-Masten Park Foundation on August 30.

• 3383 Southwestern Blvd 14127 [Orchard Park] was sold for $1,550,000 by Total Tan Inc to Colton Properties South Llc on August 25.

• 8880 Lake Glen Ct 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $1,400,000 by Militello Edward, Militello Susan to Strut Svetlana on August 26.

• 737 Delaware Ave 14209 [Buffalo] was sold for $1,400,000 by Uniland Partnership Of Delaware Lp (The) to 737 Delaware Llc on August 31.

• 5079 Reiter Rd 14052 [Wales] was sold for $1,250,000 by Smith Family Living Trust (The) 061692 Tr to Circle Court Llc on August 4.

• 10795 Miland Rd 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $1,100,000 by Karrer Mark W, Karrer Barbara B to Miland Road Llc on August 29.

• 171 Middlesex Rd 14216 [Buffalo] was sold for $1,075,000 by Curtis Anne B, Domijan Alexander Jr to Stoffman Dana E on August 26.

• 30 Lincoln Park Dr 14223 [Town of Tonawanda] was sold for $1,073,208 by Pearce & Pearce Co Inc, Pearce & Pearce Co Inc et al to Lincoln Square Apartments Llc, Lincoln Square Apartments Llc et al on August 10.

• 7 Limestone Dr 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $1,060,000 by Ccny Ea Lp Fka, Elderwood Associates Lp Aka to Limestone Services Center Llc on August 17.

• 5057 Shale Bluff Ct 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $1,040,000 by Capozzi Michael A, Capozzi Jay A to Okposo Kyle, Okposo Danielle on August 11.

• 176 Windsor Ave 14209 [Buffalo] was sold for $999,900 by Hammond Wendy A Fka, Zacher Wendy Aka et al to Tetro Nancy A E on August 29.

• 47 Castle Creek Trail 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $999,000 by Stoffman Dana to Davies Jason M, Davies Sheryl M on August 19.

• 2544 Clinton St 14224 [West Seneca] was sold for $948,000 by New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co Inc, New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co Inc et al to Clinton Street Realty Holdings Llc, Clinton Street Realty Holdings Llc et al on August 5.

• 11 Da Vinci Ct 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $930,000 by Whipple David R, Whipple Kimberley A to Viking Creek Llc on August 22.

• 5975 Tipperary Manor 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $912,500 by Numminen Ann-Maarit, Numminen Teppo to Desantis Monique Mirshak, Desantis Peter M on August 25.

• 2058 Delaware Ave 14216 [Buffalo] was sold for $900,000 by Lgp Realty Holdings Lp to Elmwood Village Llc on August 5.

• 9726 Stonecliff Ct 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $890,000 by Gonzalez Charles M, Gonzalez Karen D to Connor Jeremy, Connor Teresa on August 22.

• 9719 Cobblestone Dr 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $850,000 by Miosi John D, Miosi Cheryl L to Shunk James P, Shunk Krista L on August 18.

• 54 Beckford Ct 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $840,000 by Wisbaum Janet K to Buyers Sharyn Scofield on August 29.

• 5370 Glenview Dr 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $820,000 by Morgan Homes Of Western New York Inc to Karrer Mark W, Karrer Barbara B on August 31.

• 5 Woodbine Ct 14127 [Orchard Park] was sold for $800,000 by Bruno Maria D to Egyhazy Matyas W, Hsu Sutien on August 10.

• 8226 Main St 14221 [Clarence] was sold for $800,000 by F & V Morabito Management Llc to Towne Mini Real Estate Llc on August 11.

• 86 Brockton Ridge 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $786,605 by Marrano/Marc Equity Corporation (The) to Searns Richard B, Searns Jarilyn M on August 16.

• 304 Rivermist Dr 14202 [Buffalo] was sold for $760,000 by Connelly Terrance M to Buscaglia Toi L, Buscaglia Anthony J on August 1.

• 6035 Corinne Ln 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $750,000 by Strut Svetlana Fka, Strutsovskiy Svetlana Aka to Militello Edward, Militello Susan on August 26.

• 35 Brantwood Rd 14226 [Amherst] was sold for $743,000 by Alfieri James S, Lucas Debra M to Mann Matthew A on August 30.

• 161 Brantwood Rd 14226 [Amherst] was sold for $739,934 by James J & Eileen M Reidy Joint Revocable Trust I 121008 Tr to Lacarrubba Robert, Lacarrubba Sarah Syed on August 26.

• 768 Lebrun Rd 14226 [Amherst] was sold for $725,000 by Godry/Proano Living Trust Tr to Bowen Robert, Bowen Lisa on August 5.

• 9621 Cobblestone Dr 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $705,000 by Shenyao & Youwen Wang Joint Revocable Trust I 011212 Tr to Schoenborn Jeffrey A, Schoenborn Margot P on August 31.

• 1032 Sweet Rd 14052 [Aurora] was sold for $690,000 by Farrell Michael D Jr, Farrell Regina A to Degaetano Aimee C, Degaetano William on August 19.

• 9686 Garden Walk 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $666,900 by R & D Contracting Inc to Charters Susan M, Bradach Mary E on August 5.

• 41 Ojibwa Cir 14202 [Buffalo] was sold for $666,140 by 1094 Group Llc to Malayny Jason F on August 11.

• 85-89 Dorothy St 14206 [Buffalo] was sold for $655,311 by Maldovan William D Ref, Maldovan William D Ref et al to Manhattan Logistics Management Llc, Manhattan Logistics Management Llc on August 25.

• 54 Concord Dr 14215 [Cheektowaga] was sold for $648,000 by Better Homes & Properties Llc, Better Homes & Properties Llc et al to J A Gulick Properties Llc, J A Gulick Properties Llc et al on August 30.

• 37 Ojibwa Cir 14202 [Buffalo] was sold for $636,166 by 1094 Group Llc to Kandefer Sydney Jaye on August 9.

• 218 Linwood Ave 14209 [Buffalo] was sold for $630,000 by Rj Gullo Properties Inc to Menza Daniel C, Menza Donna S on August 30.

• 1200-1212 Hertel Ave 14216 [Buffalo] was sold for $600,000 by Croston Christine M, Caruso Vincent Licata et al to 1200 Mahal Llc on August 12.

• 185 Lebrun Rd 14226 [Amherst] was sold for $594,000 by Bilkey George, Bilkey Jessica Fka et al to Polowy Martin A, Polowy Amy E on August 8.

• 827 Ayer Rd 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $569,900 by Tesmer Richard R Jr to Ogburn Susan L, Ogburn Paul L Jr on August 30.

• 57 Turnberry Dr 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $565,000 by Chouchani Gabriel E Aka, Chouchani Gabriel T Aka et al to Lu Binfeng, Liu Lin on August 10.

• 5627 Woodruff Dr 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $565,000 by Lauricella Lisa S to Humphries Bret R, Humphries Carina Ann on August 29.

• 9682 Golden Aster Ct 14032 [Clarence] was sold for $562,055 by Bielmeier Builders Inc to Bylewski Anthony W, Bylewski Patricia Ann on August 9.

• 512 Lafayette Ave 14222 [Buffalo] was sold for $550,000 by Caine Patricia to Little Devon, Little Robert on August 30.

• 138 Stonham Way 14221 [Amherst] was sold for $540,915 by Marrano/Marc Equity Corporation (The) to Taylor William C, Taylor Linda J on August 24.

• 8934 Stonebriar Dr 14032 [Clarence] Larry Suchy was sold for $540,000 by Lombardi Robert, Lombardi Denise to Berkoh-Asamoah Harry, Berkoh-Asamoah Linda on August 24.

• 2178 Seneca St 14210 [Buffalo] was sold for $540,000 by Dweck Dorothy to Sheas Seneca Llc on August 25.

• 5870 Kilkenny Manor 14031 [Clarence] was sold for $537,045 by Forbes Homes Inc to Jennings William M, Jennings Sharon M on August 31.

• 142 Park Pl 14072 [Grand Island] was sold for $535,000 by Colosi Joseph to Grimaldi-Sykes Lida, Sykes Jason G on August 8.

• 8771 Fairbrook Ct 14051 [Clarence] was sold for $530,000 by Lacarrubba Robert, Lacarrubba Sarah F Syed to Dy Grace, Almyroudis Nikolaos on August 29.