Willie Ray Smith Sr. built Texas coaching legacy before sending Bubba to Michigan State

PHOTO (L-R): Bubba Smith, Willie Ray Smith Sr., Willie Ray Smith Jr. and Tody Smith, in 1992. Texas royalty relied and uncommon man By TOM SHANAHAN Willie Ray Smith Sr. coached high school football in southeast Texas 33 years, an American history spanning World War II through the Civil Rights movement and the end of segregation. In those troubled times, he was more than a football coach and teacher. Smith’s career with the Beaumont Independent School District, near…

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Army-Navy Game never disappoints; three old Big Rapids friends at 2018 Philadelphia game

PHOTO: Rex Schuberg, Morgon Bolden, Seth Boldn, (Ret.) Col. Rick Steinke and Tom Shanahan By TOM SHANAHAN The Army-Navy Game never disappoints. That’s what two of us told the other as three old friends from Big Rapids, Mi., gathered from our places in the world for the 119th Army-Navy Game Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. One flew in from Germany, one drove from our Michigan hometown and I flew from Raleigh, N.C.  For me, it was my…

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