DAVID WHEELER: Run seeks to remember Amanda Price and pay back community that has offered support

By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal

This would be the appropriate week to look back at the just concluded basketball state tournament, but let’s wait a week for that.

Instead, I think it is more timely and important to help spread the word about the Amanda Price Memorial 5K run/walk, which is Saturday in New Albany. Many will remember the tragic news of the shooting death of Amanda Price and wounding of her husband, New Albany football coach Ron Price, at their New Albany home in late 2011. Now Ron Price and others are working hard to do something positive in memory of Amanda.

In talking with Ron Price about this event, and it was a privilege for me to have him grant me a few minutes, he fondly remembers his wife’s recent running interest. A group at their church, Hillcrest Baptist, was beginning a program called Couch to 5K, which led her to sign up for her first road race in Tupelo, the Elvis Presley 5K.

The funny part of that first race for Amanda Price was that she had also signed her husband up for the event. A fact he grudgingly accepted at the time, but now is thankful he did, completing the race with his wife.

He said her running group dwindled a bit as 2011 went on, but that she was very faithful to her three days a week. Amanda Price eventually did five 5Ks in 2011, and had a goal this year to do a half marathon that benefited St. Jude.

This love for running by Amanda Price was the genesis for members of the Hillcrest church, along with others in the very supportive town of New Albany and Union County area, to come up with the idea for Saturday’s race.

The event itself will be held at New Albany Elementary School. A half mile fun run for ages 12 and under will begin at 8 a.m., with the 5K beginning at 8:30 a.m., and questions about registration taken at amandapricerun@hotmail.com. Click here to visit the runs Facebook page for more information.

Of importance to Ron Price is that benefits from this 5K will go to Survival, Inc., as well as the Junior Auxiliary of New Albany Scholarship Fund. Survival, Inc., is a Saltillo based organization that helps families like Ron Price’s, based on information on its web site.

“They even continue to call and check on us,” Price said. “I just wanted to give back to them because they have been so good to my family.

“I’ve tried to volunteer with the race, but they’ve kept me out of the way. When I first met with them, they were anticipating 300-400, now it’s going to be capped at 1,500.
“I should have told them that if Amanda is involved, expect it to be big. That’s the way she did things.”

Entries were reported over 1,000 on Monday.

Head Coach Ron Price
Later in our sit down, the talked turned to the New Albany Bulldogs football team. Coach Price reports that spring drills for the squad should begin the last week in April, with the spring game May 11 versus Oxford , the site still to be determined.

“This season is going to be a hard challenge, because she loved football so much,” said Price, who reports New Albany will have more than 20 seniors for the upcoming season. “I think the kids on the team want to do everything they can to make this upcoming season special.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a 9-4 season from 2011, losing in the second round of the playoffs to Cleveland, where Price coached for two seasons. In 2010, the Bulldogs were 13-1, losing only to eventual state champion Lafayette in the playoffs.

“We could be a factor again this fall,” Price said.

Some of you might remember I use to do a bit of running myself long ago, so this felt like the proper thing to do this week. Let us strive to be positive factors in all we do.

David Wheeler has been contributing to high school coverage for the Daily Journal since 1985.

David Wheeler writes a regular column at NeMissPreps.com, a website dedicated to Everything High School Sports in Northeast Mississippi produced by Journal Interactive. Click here to visit NeMissPreps.com.