Shawn Goelz, one of the co-owners of the Zaxby’s restaurants in Jackson and Barnesville, made a special presentation on June 23 at the annual Red Devil Golf Tournament at Hickory Hills Golf Club.
Goelz unveiled a large memory frame of the late Neiron Ball, a standout player at Jackson High and the University of Florida, who was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2015. Ball died Sept. 10, 2019, at the age of 27, following a lengthy illness. Ball was Coach Myricks brother-in-law.
The frame includes a photo and information of Ball plus his JHS jersey, and will hang in the Zaxby’s in Jackson. Goelz said they had planned to present the frame last year, but the pandemic got in the way.
“We had planned to do this on March 20, 2020, but guess what happened,” Goelz said. “But not too long after Neiron passed, I got to hear some wonderful stories about him from some of Dary’s players who were working for me at the time, and the impact that he had on the players and the community as a whole.
“We thought, what better way to honor such a great citizen of Jackson, and such a fan of Zaxby’s, too, from the stories I hear, by giving him a spot in our store and honoring him in that way.”
Myricks expressed his appreciation for the presentation.
“Neiron Ball was my wife’s brother,” Myricks said. “He played for us and I coached my brother-in-law. He was more like a child that we raised, me and my wife. This really means a lot to me and my wife and our family. Every time we walk into Zaxby’s and see this hanging up, I think it will mean a lot to this community, but it really means a lot to us and we really appreciate you.”
More than 50 golfers came together for the annual tournament benefitting the Jackson Red Devils football team.
Myricks thanked those that came out for supporting all the athletic programs at Jackson High School.
“Today’s tournament is to help raise money for our kids coming off a pandemic,” Myricks said. “You can only imagine how difficult things are for us right now and the support we need to get things back on line as an athletic department. We couldn’t put people in seats, and no people in seats means no money in the coffers.
“It is almost like we’re starting the whole thing over again, so we appreciate all the support we can get to support all of our programs, whether it be football, softball, cross country. Anything that’s coming up in the fall needs your support as much as possible.”
The golfers also had a chance to meeting Jackson High’s new athletic director, Tom Grochenour. Mickey Moody, who was AD last year, is now teaching in a different school system.
“I’m really excited to be here in Jackson,” Grochenour said. “I’ve always liked this community. I was at East Coweta. We played Jackson over here back in the early 2000’s, and it was a really exciting atmosphere. So it’s good to be back over here. I’ve got a lot of purple to get out of my closet, and I’m looking forward to putting some red and blue in there.