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Former Sherwood head football coach Knapp writes first book, to sign today at Albany Mall

Ted “Rock” Knapp will be at the Chick-Fil-A inside the Albany Mall today between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to sign copies of his book, "The Great Adventures of Sparky the Angel."

Ted “Rock” Knapp will be at the Chick-Fil-A inside the Albany Mall today between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to sign copies of his book, "The Great Adventures of Sparky the Angel."

ALBANY — The “Rock” returns to Albany today, and Tedd Knapp’s bringing with him something even he didn’t believe he’d ever attempt.

Knapp, the long-time football coach who came to Albany in 2007-08 to take over at Sherwood Christian, is an author now and he’s promoting his first book, “The Great Adventures of Sparky the Angel.”

Knapp will be selling and signing the new publication today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chick-Fil-A inside the Albany Mall. “The Great Adventures of Sparky the Angel” can also be purchased online at www.rockknapp.com for $15.

The former Albany Herald Coach of the Year was forced to retire his whistle after his final coaching stop in Southwest Georgia in 2008 and continues a nearly five-year battle against terminal cancer, although the dreaded disease has been in remission for several years.

“If you were to ask me five years ago if I would ever write a children’s book, I would have looked at you like you were absolutely nuts,” Knapp told The Herald from his home in Peachtree City on Thursday.

Knapp admits even he wasn’t sure he could craft a successful book for children, but he had one undeniable talent that helped entertain his five children growing up — a knack for telling stories.

Most of all, Knapp wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between the memories he shares with his four grandchildren, all age 2 and under, and how they’ll remember him. He believes his new book will do that by leaving a way for his young grandchildren to remember the things for which he stood.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to pass away and they’re so young,’ ” Knapp said about the beginnings of his idea for a book more than six months ago. “I’m going to have no connection to them. They’re not going to remember me. That just eats me up, so I thought I’ve got to do something that will connect me to the grandkids.”

So Knapp, the imposing and sometimes gruff football coach, penned the fictional adventure book for youth in the middle-school-and-up age range that captures the journey of a teenage boy with leukemia who is visited by an angel that takes him on a memorable journey.

“With each great adventure there are lessons of love, courage, obedience, faith, hope and spiritual peace,” Knapp’s website says about “The Great Adventures of Sparky the Angel.”

Knapp remains weak most days from several years of chemotherapy and a broken-down immune system. He says he nearly died from a bout with pneumonia suffered three weeks ago.

“To be very honest, it’s the only thing I can do,” Knapp said of writing. “I get around a little bit, but not very much. So writing allowed me to be productive.”

The feedback and sales for the book in its first month have been exceptional, according to Knapp. He can’t keep up with the orders but plans to have about 200 books on hand for his stop in Albany, where he led Sherwood Christian to its first playoff appearance in school history.

Knapp now lives with his wife, Shari, in Peachtree City, hosts a radio show in south Atlanta, and will be doing color commentary for Sandy Creek High School football games beginning next week.

His diagnosis of two terminal diseases (amyloidosis/multiple myeloma) have knocked him down — but not out.

“I’ve certainly stayed in remission longer than anybody anticipated, and I’m thankful for that,” Knapp said.

His youngest son, Nile, ran for more than 3,000 yards in two seasons at Sherwood Christian and Southwest Georgia Academy before accepting a scholarship to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo. Nile Knapp was redshirted his freshman year, but after Rock Knapp became increasingly sick — including losing the vision in his left eye — Nile returned home to be with his father and is currently in school near Atlanta.

Rock Knapp’s first book may have surprised most, but he says his second upcoming book will be more his style. Knapp said he plans to begin writing a book of stories from his 30-year coaching career that will include his stay in Albany and his battle with cancer.

“I’ve got stories that I could write from now until I turn 60,” Knapp said. “Things that will make you cry, things that will make you laugh out loud, and things that will motivate you.”

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Is this guy still scamming the unsuspecting and naive public? I thought he had moved on and taken his fictional accomplishments with him. Oh well, there's a sucker born every minute.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

The claim "where he led Sherwood Christian to its first playoff appearance in school history" is so easily disproven than it should motivate everybody to investigate his other claims which are also mostly bogus. Not completely...........but mostly.

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Margie 2 years, 2 months ago

Congratulation Coach. God has a way of filling the void in our lives with something with a purpose. I am certain that your book will inspire not only your grandchildren, but others. I look forward to purchasing and reading. Again, miss ruby is at it again, never anything positive or worthy of anything or anybody. Perhaps one day when he/she awaits and find themselves with an affliction, lost of job, family member hurt, or in trouble, hungry, in pain, suffering, humility will then come. But, until then, let all those who are have accepted Jesus Chirst as our Personal Savior, lay this name at the altar. We don't know who this person really is, but God does, and he is very aware of this evil, un-repetence heart. How sicking were those comments, not one entry, but two withn minutes of each other. The person has to be a moroon, or a child with very little understanding about life and its appreciation. I would perfer to believe the child.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for the thoughts and prayers sent my way. I really don't like falsehoods, tho! Do you? Please answer Yes or No and don't launch off on another sermon. Yes or No do you like it when people tell falsehoods?

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Number1VolFan2012 2 years, 2 months ago

First, I would like to wish Coach Rock all the best. Second, the Albany Herald should really do a better job of verifying and checking their facts before publishing a story. It's not clear if this was information that the Herald is trying to quote him as saying or facts you tried to add into the story. However, Coach Rock was not the first Sherwood coach to lead the Eagles to a playoff appearance.

*He can’t keep up with the orders but plans to have about 200 books on hand for his stop in Albany, where he led Sherwood Christian to its first playoff appearance in school history.

Sherwood has made it to the playoffs numerous times by default. For several years Sherwood was in a Region that only had four teams and all the teams made the playoffs. In speaking of teams that earned a berth in the playoffs that would be the 1997-1998 team that beat Deerfield 27-21 at Webb Memorial Stadium to be the Region Runner-Up and the first team in Sherwood history to host a home football playoff game.Sherwood hosted Stratford and lost that game 0-3 on a forth quarter field goal. Sherwood was 6-4-1 on the season and coached by Paul Hoch. This team is was the first to win a Region game by winning against Brookwood the second week of region play and is still the only Sherwood team to beat Deerfield in football.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Finally somebody who is willing to examine the truth of the statements. I once spoke with an SCA football parent/booster after the brief (2-year) Knapp era. He had done some independent investigation of some of the claims of Coach Knapp, since the whole situation did not pass the "sniff test" after all was said and done. Bottom line: Knapp likes to tell stories, as the article states, and people are all too ready to believe the stories. "Won nine State Championships in Six States"...absolutely not. Two championships in 8-man football leagues, more likely. Stories about Knapp's own high school and college achievements. Who knows? Ancient history. What would make a guy with a "144-39-1" record travel from coast to coast during a 29-year coaching career, coaching at 15 to 20 schools, never staying more than 3 years at any place? If you're that good......you would build a legacy......they would make it worth your while to stay, right? Looks like he's running from something. 1998 Texas Private School Coach of the Year? No record can be found of it. Even exaggerations about the athletic accomplishments of his kids that are widely known to be false.

But I join with VolFan2012 in wishing Coach Knapp all the best. He needs all the help he can get.

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The_Dude 2 years, 2 months ago

Sherwood went 4-6-1 in 1997 according to Georgia High School Football Historians Association. Hardly a record befitting a playoff team, but if you want to claim it, go ahead. The year Knapp coached them, they earned that playoff berth for the first time. Regardless, any team that automatically makes the playoffs, didn't really make the playoffs.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years, 2 months ago

SEC Championships:

Alabama: 22

Tennessee: 13

UGA: 12

LSU: 11

Florida: 8

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The_Dude 2 years, 2 months ago

Ha. What is this supposed to prove? Would you like me to post SEC records the last decade?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 2 years, 2 months ago

Would you like me to elaborate on how statement Tennessee sucks is idiotic. Which team do you like. Please don't tell me UGA, because I would love to see how they have performed over th last 30 years.

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Number1VolFan2012 2 years, 2 months ago

Thanks to The_Dude for helping me fix my typo, however if you know much about High School Football then you would know that it's not your overall record that counts to get into playoffs. The region record is what counts and that season Sherwood was 2-1 in the region and the Region Runner-Up. The standings were as follows:

Southland: 3-0 Sherwood: 2-1 Deerfield: 1-2 Brookwood: 0-3

Also, in 1997 the GISA Playoffs bracket only allowed for the top three teams from each region. The the number one seed in each region received a bye week and the second and third region teams played each other.

There is no way you cannot say that Sherwood did not earn a playoff spot.

P.S. Your Tennessee comment shows me a lot about your character.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Apparently he was not going to let the actual facts get in the way of his Legacy.

Oh, and they got slaughtered in that 2008 Round 1 playoff game.

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The_Dude 2 years, 2 months ago

Sorry, but if you're in the playoffs before the season starts regardless of your record.... well, I think that says it all. Thank the GISA for that brilliant concept. My apologies for offending a fan of a university whose rally cry is Vols B*@%&. Talk about character.

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Number1VolFan2012 2 years, 2 months ago

To The_Dude: This is the last time that I am going to explain that the 1997 team was not automatically in the playoffs. The team earned that playoff spot .

P.S. The intelligent readers of these comments will see exactly what I was talking about with your character.

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The_Dude 2 years, 2 months ago

Sure thing bud. Enjoy that GISA football. And enjoy another fourth place finish in the SEC East this year - that's if they can beat Vandy.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years, 2 months ago

Knapp tells stories. He's done that his entire career. Trusting, unsuspecting people of Faith have believed his stories. They were really good stories. Excellent stories with excellent endings. The majority of his stories are "made up". People think those stories were the TRUTH. See the problem here? Buy the book. Why not? People have bought his "made up stories" for the past twenty years. And they paid the Price of Admission in doing so. If you could ask them "Would you do it again?" Well why don't you ask them.....................

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