Edition: 07-18-2012
Written by Advertizer-Herald   

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Legendary Coach Leon Maxwell

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Legendary Coach Leon Maxwell was remembered as a spouse, brother, father, grandfather, “a master of what he did” and a builder in the services held at the First Baptist Church of Bamberg Friday morning.

Coach Maxwell, who was born in Athens Georgia and moved to North Charleston, before deciding to make Bamberg his home , passed away Tuesday, July 10, 2012.

His grandson Hank Maxwell, in his remarks, at the memorial service, said he remembered asking his grandfather, " what is the main quality to have to be a good leader? He noted that his grandfather told him, the main quality a person needed to be a good leader was “trust.” “Concern for his family and friends” were also the first priorities in Coach Maxwell’s life, along with “always being willing to help others,” young Maxwell said. “He touched people in a way that touched their lives,” Maxwell said.

Former player Curt Morrell, who starred under Coach Maxwell on some of his earlier championship teams in Bamberg, noted that as a player, he and his teammates did not realize at the time, the impact that Coach Maxwell would have on their lives later in life. “Little did we know, what he was doing would influence our lives,” Morrell said, remembering the pep talk that Coach Maxwell gave to his teams before every game, “the team that makes the fewest mistakes is the team that’s going to win.”

Morrell noted that playing under Coach Maxwell taught his players how to respond “to adversity.” And he recalled how the legendary Coach “redirected his life” when he struggled in his first year of college with not getting enough playing time. “What did you go to school for football or and education?” he said Coach Maxwell reminded him.

Morrell, in noting that Coach Maxwell in his 40 year coaching career compiled a record of 297-121-4 including two state championships in football and numerous region and conference championships and was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1995, was more proud of how his players turned out as people in life than how they played on the field. “We are all Leon Maxwell fans, get involve, love your community,” Morrell said in challenging those in attendance.

Bamberg First Baptist Church Pastor Charlie Lucas in his remarks described Coach Maxwell as “kind and gentle, with a loving heart,” qualities he noted that were not often ascribable to most coaches. Lucas said that Coach Maxwell lived “a life of value” in the eyes of other people because he “blessed us” and “impacted us in a positive way.” Pastor Lucas said that Coach Maxwell “treated everybody the same” and his life had value because he “blessed other people.” He married this community-this community became his home,” Lucas said, in noting “I’m glad ya’ll brought Leon and Betty to this town.”

Lucas asked the church audience that came to pay their last respects to Coach Leon Maxwell a simple question. “How do we replace a man like Leon Maxwell?” The Pastor’s answer, “we need to do a double portion in the community. God brought value through the life of Leon Maxwell,” he said.

As Coach Maxwell’s casket was carried out of the church by his grandsons and other members of the Maxwell family, a cool, damp, steady rain fell... Typical Red Raider football weather Coach Maxwell always loved.

2012 Winn Clary Memorial Golf Tournament

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The Annual Winn Clary Memorial Golf Tournament that kicks off Old Friends Invitational Golf Classic week in Bamberg was held at the Paw Paw Country Club on Saturday July 14. The tournament, named in honor of one of Bamberg’s most outstanding citizen and former Sports Editor for The Advertizer-Herald Newspaper for several years, has maintained its popularity over the years.

The charity golf tournament, founded by Winn’s boyhood friend Jim Kemp, raises funds for the non-medical expenses of sick children and their families in Bamberg County.

The income raised is used to buy gas or lodging or books in the fall for a family in need. Each year the event brings together families and friends for a day of fun, food and great golf and that was no exception this year. “We had a good turnout again this year,” noted Jim Kemp, coordinator and founder of the tournament.

Top finishers in the 2012 Winn Clary Memorial Golf Tournament this year were:
First Place Low Gross, the team of: Mike Lott, Kevin Wilson, Martin Stroman and Joe Varn.
First Place Low Net, the team of: Bubba Bamberg, Bubba Walker, Larry Zeigler and Joey Ulmer.
Adult Putting Contest:
First Place: Ricky Maxwell
Second Place: Steve Kent.
Junior Putting Contest:
First Place Garris Schwarting
Second Place Bailey Walling
Third Place Matt Maxwell.
Closest to the Pin Youth Division:
Graham Wilson Closest to the Pin on #5.
Adult Division: Scott King.
Longest Drive Adult Division: Steven Carter.

One hundred years from now it won't matter what kind of house we lived in, what kind of car we drove or how much money we had in our bank account...but what will matter is that we made a difference in the life of family and friends. Thanks Winn "Buck" Clary for making a difference in so many lives!