0

Counting down Southwest Georgia’s Top 10 sports stories of 2012 --- #5: Southwest Georgia loses four beloved sports figures

Albany State lost its longtime SID Edythe Bradley recently when she died suddenly. Bradley was one of four prominent Southwest Georgia sports figures who died in 2012.

Albany State lost its longtime SID Edythe Bradley recently when she died suddenly. Bradley was one of four prominent Southwest Georgia sports figures who died in 2012.

2012 was not without tears, mourning, grief and shock as Southwest Georgia lost some of its most beloved sports figures.

Albany State is still mourning the sudden loss of much-loved, longtime Golden Rams Sports Information Director Edythe Bradley, who had been at the school more than 20 years and was named ASU’s first female SID in 1997. Bradley was at the heart of all athletics at ASU, and her warm, gentle spirit embraced everyone who met her.

Going just outside of the Good Life City down to Donalsonville, almost everyone in Seminole County was touched in one way or another by Jesse McLeod, who coached the Seminole County High School girls basketball team for more than 30 years and served in every position in the school system, including teacher, assistant principal, principal, school superintendent and athletic director. McLeod, who died suddenly just months after last season ended, will be remembered far more for his kindness and overwhelming generosity than for his remarkable 585 wins and three state titles. He was 5-foot-9, but he had the biggest heart in Seminole County.

There are no words for the sadness in Crisp County after James Bodrey, a talented and wonderfully engaging young man who was a three-sport star athlete at Crisp Academy, lost his life in an ATV accident. Bodrey was a star baseball, basketball and football player whose charm, wit and sense of humor left an indelible mark on everyone he met.

And finally, the loss of legendary Peach State sports columnist Furman Bisher, who covered everything from the Super Bowl, Masters, Kentucky Derby, Georgia, Georgia Tech, the Atlanta Braves and more for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 59 years and — during his retirement — also wrote a series of columns for The Herald for the last three years, was felt throughout the sports world.

Furman’s love and passion for every Georgia sports team from high schools to college to pro resonated in all he wrote, and the journalism world lost a legend when he passed.

That’s why these tragic losses are sadly The Herald’s No. 5 sports story of 2012.