Pro baseball player Casey McGehee to speak for Wesley's Warriors – Jackson Sun

Brandon Shields, Jackson Sun
Published 4:16 p.m. CT Jan. 11, 2019


Wesley McCall’s life on earth lasted 16 years until he died from his second bout with cancer on March 11, 2018.

His mother, Angela Kemp, is making sure the impact of Wesley’s life lasts longer as she tries to help other parents of children who’ve been diagnosed with cancer.


Seeing the need

“Wesley actually battled cancer twice,” Kemp said. “And I lost my job during his first battle, which he was diagnosed when he was 3 years old.

“I didn’t lose my job during the second battle, but it was still a big worry for my family, losing an entire income because I wasn’t able to work on top of staying in Memphis and having to take care of things there while also making sure bills got paid back home with other family living there.”

Wesley’s battle gained attention across West Tennessee in recent years as his friends and classmates at Crockett County High School did a lot to support him and his family, including adopting the social media hashtag #WesleysWarriors that became synonymous with the courage and faith Wesley showed in his battle, even in the final weeks and days before his passing.

Wesley’s Warriors has evolved into a 501c3 foundation designed to raise money to help families with taking care of financial needs as they deal with cancer treatment.

“We had a lot of people, a lot, who helped us out with money or gift cards or whatever,” Kemp said. “And we made sure everything that was given to us was spent on Wesley.

“If he wanted to go out to eat one night or wanted to get something fun for himself like a Lego set or go somewhere, the money given to us went toward that. And I want to be able to help people who may not have the support that we had or needs help for whatever reason because if we can take away the worry of lunch one day or a bill one month or two or three, that’s one less thing to think about while focusing on their child.”


Raising funds

Kemp is organizing the first big event for to raise funds for the foundation, and it involves an athlete with Crockett County connections.

Professional baseball player Casey McGehee will speak The Barn at Snider Farms on Saturday, Feb. 2 on Wesley Warriors’ behalf along with an auction and dinner.

McGehee played for the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx baseball team before making his Major League debut with the Chicago Cubs in 2008. While playing here, he met his wife, Sarah, and live here during the offseason.

“Casey has a powerful testimony that people respond to, so we appreciate him taking the time to help us out with his support,” Kemp said.

Auction items available include gift cards from local businesses, sports memorabilia, a week stay in Destin, Fla., and a weekend in New Orleans.

“I wanted the items at this auction to have a wide range of people that would be interested, and I think we’ve done a good job of that,” Kemp said. “And a lot of the athletes at Crockett County and a few at Jackson Christian where my other children go will be there waiting tables.”

Individual tickets are $40, and tickets for an entire table for 10 are $350. VIP packages for $600 will get a table plus admission into the meet-and-greet, which Kemp said there are five tables available for that. Tickets can be purchased online at 

Reach Brandon Shields at or at 731-425-9751. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or on Instagram at editorbrandon.

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EXCLUSIVE | Garry Tonon explains how the Danaher Death Squad has changed BJJ, MMA –

Garry Tonon

In recent years the sport of jiu-jitsu has exploded in popularity and right at the forefront of the movement is Garry Tonon.

A grappler by trade, Tonon recently dove head first into MMA, going 3-0 under the ONE Championship banner. Having competed in countless grappling and BJJ tournaments “The Lion Killer”, as he is known, believes we are just now starting to see the true essence of jiu-jitsu.

“I’ve always appreciated jiu-jitsu being used in mixed martial arts in any way,” Tonon told in a recent interview. “That’s my main sport, I’ve done it for over a decade and I still train jiu-jitsu twice a day.”

“People don’t realize how different the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is from how it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago, or 20 [years ago]. Things have changed so much, so radically. There are things going on in jiu-jitsu nowadays that unless you are really keeping up with it your going to get lost in the old school ways of doing it.”

Both BJJ and MMA have evolved considerably over the last decade or so. Specifically the sport of jiu-jitsu and leg-locks.

“There is a lot of stuff going on with the leg locks,” Tonon explained. “A lot of people just aren’t well versed on it. If you don’t have it in your arsenal, it’s tough. That goes for both offense and defense.”

Mixed martial arts was born out of jiu-jitsu. After all, Royce Gracie is still considered one of the most important figures in the world of MMA. Not to mention the numerous black belts that shed blood in the old no holds barred Vale Tudo matches.

Still, MMA has seen its share of BJJ wizards. Jacare Souza, Demian Maia, and Fabricio Werdum come to mind. But despite their impressive accolades, no fighter has revolutionized the game like Tonon is hoping to do.

“There was a huge revolution when it came to leg locks,” Tonon said. “Due to the work of John Danaher passing on his knowledge to myself, Gordon Ryan, Eddie Cummings, Nicky Ryan, all these guys coming out of our school and really applying it has developed at a high level.”

“Stemming from that a lot of other guys were trying to catch on. Just trying to keep up. This is not to say that John created leg locks. A lot of people have done it before him. But it was just kind of sprinkled throughout jiu-jitsu and MMA. I think the work that we did and the work that John did changed the game and really forced everyone else to work on leg locks or get it broken.”

Garry Tonon last fought at ONE: Heart of the Lion in November, defeating Sung Jong Lee by submission. He’s expected to return to the cage later in the New Year.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 1/10/19.

Dover Downs: Sports betting profits welcome but marginal during NFL playoffs – The News Journal


Here are some of the top stories we’re following for today. 1/11/18
Damian Giletto/The News Journal

Last year, gamblers laid down about a half-million dollars at Delaware casinos to wager on the first week of the NFL playoffs, said Dover Downs Vice President Charles Lockhart.

That turned into a $19,000 return for the struggling, publicly traded casino.

Last week, Delaware bets on the first NFL playoff games surged to $3.6 million, Lockhart said, thanks to a new sports betting regime that allows single-game wagers, rather than just three-game parlay bets. 

But the cut of the profits for the casino in Delaware’s capital city actually dropped from a year ago, to about $10,000, he said.

Cash flowing through the state’s new-look sports betting business is dwarfing the amount wagered last year, yet it doesn’t mean that in any given week Delaware casinos are reaping bigger profits – even as the nearby Philadelphia Eagles appear to have recaptured some of last year’s playoff magic.

“That’s a question you can’t really answer because that depends on how successful the bettors are,” Lockhart said. “It’s not a windfall by any means.” 

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Single-game sports betting has begun at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover. Cash flowing through the state’s new-look sports betting business is dwarfing the amount wagered last year. (Photo: Jason Minto, The News Journal)

Last June, Delaware briefly was the darling of the betting world when it became the first state, outside of Nevada, to allow single-game wagers on sports. 

The new betting rules, made possible by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, allow wagers on individual games and events in professional baseball, football, hockey, basketball, soccer, golf and auto racing.

Gov. John Carney said it would bring new visitors to the state. But it was unclear at the time how much it would buoy the Delaware casinos’ sagging profits as competition from other states increased. 

Lockhart said few of the new gamblers are sticking around the casino to purchase concessions or play table games or slot machines.

Delaware Park President Bill Fasy last year expressed doubts that the state’s cut of the sports betting business would match the previous amounts that came from with three-game parlay betting.

That’s because single-game wagering is easier to win than parlay betting, he said.

The last four months of 2017 and 2018 appeared to prove Fasy wrong as the state’s 50 percent share has grown considerably to about $3.4 million from $2.3 million.

A month after Delaware’s launch of the new sports betting rules, Dover Downs announced it would be purchased by a Rhode Island casino operator.

The merger announcement came a few weeks after the Delaware General Assembly approved a nearly $17 million per year tax break for the state’s three casinos. 

As of last month, the companies had not yet received all regulatory approvals for the deal, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

Contact Karl Baker at or (302) 324-2329. Follow him on Twitter @kbaker6.


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Kim Bailey hoping progressive Rocky's Treasure can strike gold again | Horse Racing News – Racing Post

Rocky’s Treasure: won four of five chase starts this season

Martin Lynch (

1.50 Warwick
McCoy Contractors 2019 Construction News Award Finalist Hampton Novices’ Chase (Listed) | 3m | 5yo+ | ITV4/RTV

There may only be four runners for this Listed race but there is no shortage of intrigue, with plenty to like about each member of the quartet.

Rocky’s Treasure has only been beaten by RSA favourite Santini this season, with the eight-year-old winning his other four starts over fences, most recently a Grade 2 Novices’ Chase at Doncaster.

Trainer Kim Bailey did give himself the option of stepping Rocky’s Treasure out of novice company, having entered him for the Classic Chase later on the card, but ultimately decided against it.

Watch: Rocky’s Treasure winning at Doncaster last time

“He’s had a busy campaign and if the weather had changed, he would be on a break by now,” Bailey said. “We decided to keep going while the conditions are still suitable and hopefully we haven’t gone to the well too often. I’m happy with what I’ve seen at home, he schooled very well this week.”

The National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is the long-term target for Ok Corral, and the ante-post favourite will attempt to follow up a successful chase debut at Plumpton last month.

Ok Corral: made a winning chasing debut at Plumpton and is being aimed at the National Hunt Chase

Edward Whitaker

Trainer Nicky Henderson said of that performance: “He ploughed his way through one, but otherwise he was pretty good. He loves soft ground and it’s been a case of finding somewhere to go. Perhaps Plumpton wasn’t the most auspicious place to start but he did that well. I think everyone has worked out it’s the four miler we’re aiming at, I don’t think it’s rocket science.”

Secret Investor was thrown in at the deep end for his chase debut when running in the Grade 2 Rising Stars Novices’ Chase at Wincanton, but coped well, finishing second to the more battle-hardened Bags Groove.

That came over 2m4f, and the step up in trip should be a plus, according to Harry Derham, who is assistant to trainer Paul Nicholls: “It was a good run and Bags Groove probably just jumped a little bit faster than him which made the difference on the day.

Bags Groove: beat Secret Investor at Wincanton

Alan Crowhurst

“I think going left handed over three miles on good ground are just about his perfect conditions. He’s in good nick and we’re hopeful of a very good showing, but we’re also fully aware it’s a very good race.”

White Moon is stepping up markedly in trip after gaining a first chase win last time out at Exeter over 2m1½f. The Colin Tizzard-trained seven-year-old is a winning pointer, and also won over 2m5½f over hurdles. 

Read exclusive previews from 6pm on and the Racing Post mobile app


Florien teen with disability lives basketball dream – KALB News

Florien, La. (KALB) In the final minutes of Monday nights basketball game between Florien and Simpson High School, the Black Cats team manager Brently Miller, who lives with Cerebral Palsy, fulfilled his life-long dream of joining his twin brother Bailey on the court.

Melanie with her twins Brently and Bailey Miller and Florien Black Cats coach Eddie Jones.

“It’s an experience that I’ll never be able to forget,” said Miller. “I love just watching my brother play and all my teammates. There’s just something about the game that I just love.”

Brently’s mother Melanie said it touched her heart “At one point the entire student body and Simpson school were standing up, cheering for Brently. And when it was supposed to be their ball they kept chanting ‘white ball, white ball’ because they wanted to get him the ball so he could shoot again.”

But Brently’s miraculous story began nearly 18 years ago when Melanie suddenly went into labor at just 26 weeks. Bailey was born in on the side of highway 28 in Gardner as the Miller’s rushed to the hospital. Brently followed after a C-section at Cabrini hospital where the twins would spend three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Melanie said the boys weighed only a couple of pounds and could fit in her husband’s hand.

Miller was flooded with emotion at the sight of Brently leading the team out of the tunnel in a Florien uniform before Monday’s game.

“As soon as they opened (the tunnel) and the music came on,” she said as tears welled in her eyes. “His face was priceless.”

At the age of seven, Brently ditched his walker and never looked back. The twins grew up playing ball for their uncle, Florien boys basketball coach Eddie Jones with Bailey on the court and Brently on the sidelines, always studying the game.

Coach Jones said he can’t help but laugh sometimes at Brentley’s comments during games. “He is Bailey’s biggest critic and more often than not what Brently says in the background is right and what needs to be said. So it’s like having another coach on the bench.”

“We’ll argue about it,” explained Bailey. “But he’s always right somehow in the end. Sometimes I think I take it (basketball) for granted and I just see him over there. I know he’d love to be out here playing with us…it’s stuff like that, making memories, making it count. Every moment.”

The fanfare for Florien’s all-star was also a special moment for the visiting Simpson High School Broncos.

“They realize that they are part of something bigger,” said SHS boys coach Jade Losavio. “They can make this guy’s high school career, letting him score and having a good time with it.”

Broncos manager Jackson Richardson was so moved that he lead a student prayer in the locker room after the game.

“It was very exciting but at the same time, it was very emotional. I could tell in his face that he was having fun. It just gave me like a rush of happiness. it was inspiring, it was very humbling for me. It let you see a perspective from someone who has lived a totally different lifestyle from you.”

The experience, illustrating a classic basketball mantra adopted by the Broncos–‘Sports don’t build character, they reveal it.’

‘Go home to mommy!’: Trump Jr. shares doctored video of golf cart supposedly running over CNN’s Jim Acosta – The Washington Post

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tweet.

Late Thursday, as a government shutdown trudged toward its 20th day, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted a doctored video depicting CNN reporter Jim Acosta getting run over by a golf cart.

The visual insult (and non sequitur) came hours after Acosta reported that there was nothing resembling a migrant crisis that would justify President Trump declaring a national emergency to build a border wall, as the administration is reportedly preparing to do — at least not from where Acosta was standing, in McAllen, Tex.

“As a matter of fact, it’s pretty tranquil down here,” Acosta said, after he walked along a border fence there and patted a row of steel slats. In another video, the CNN reporter said residents there felt “quite safe,” despite migrants occasionally coming through a portion of the border marked with a chain-link fence.

This prompted the president, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and Trump Jr. to pile on Acosta, saying that he proved, in their estimation, that “WALLS WORK.”

Sanders glibly thanked Acosta for “doing our job for us.” Trump Jr. called it “one of the best self-own videos ever!!!”

It escalated from there, with Trump Jr. and Acosta trading a series of online jabs that included the diminutive nickname “Jimbo” and at least two deployments of the dismissive hashtag #ByeBye, as might be expected of the president’s eldest son and CNN’s chief White House correspondent in 2019.

Having trouble following? No matter: The spat ended with a meme — specifically, with Trump Jr. retweeting someone named Arthur Schwartz, who wrote, “Spotted: Jim Acosta playing golf earlier today.”

The tweet included an altered video of a golfer with “CNN” superimposed on his head and an image of “Trump” driving a golf cart with what looks like a “Hillary for Prison” bumper sticker affixed to it. As the golfer readies to take a swing, “Trump” plows the vehicle into him and knocks him down.

“Go home to mommy!” Trump’s voice can be heard saying in the video, apparently borrowing from an audio clip in which Trump mocked a protester at one of his 2016 campaign rallies. “Bye! Go home to mommy!”

If that seems familiar, it may be because Trump tweeted out a similar image more than a year ago, of a cartoon train running over a CNN reporter — just days after a self-professed neo-Nazi struck and killed Heather Heyer with his car following a violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

That tweet came weeks after lawmakers had criticized Trump for posting a doctored video clip that showed him body-slamming and punching a man with “CNN” superimposed on his head (July 2017). It was, however, before Trump shared a GIF of himself hitting Hillary Clinton in the back with a golf ball (September 2017) and before he retweeted an image depicting “CNN” squashed beneath his shoe (Christmas Eve, 2017).

But for all the animosity Trump shows toward CNN, it is Acosta whom the president and his supporters seem to target the most. Trump has singled out Acosta at news conferences, calling him a “rude, terrible person” and an “enemy of the people.”

In November, the White House took the unprecedented step of suspending Acosta’s press credentials, hours after Trump had taken issue with questions Acosta asked at a news conference. White House officials also shared doctored video to try to bolster their claims that Acosta had used physical force on a female aide. CNN sued and, about two weeks later, a federal judge ordered the White House to temporarily reinstate Acosta’s press credentials.

For his part, Donald Trump Jr. has increasingly become one the most vocal supporters of his father’s presidency, campaigning for candidates on his behalf and publicly defending Trump’s policies — even though Trump Jr. once claimed he was so busy running the family business that he had nearly “zero contact” with his father.

Online, Trump Jr. has emulated his father’s approach to social media, most charitably described as controversial. Earlier this week, Trump Jr. compared the border wall to enclosures at a zoo in an Instagram post that was later deleted. He was slammed for insinuating that immigrants were like zoo animals. A spokesman for Trump Jr. told the Hill that it was a “phony controversy” and that the comparison was “strictly about illustrating the danger and violence that comes with unsecured borders.”

Read more:

White House suspends press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta after his testy exchange with Trump

‘Grandstanding’ or truth teller? CNN’s Acosta walks a fine line with Trump.

Donald Trump Jr.’s journey back to family loyalty