STOCKTON - For Episode 10 of the Best of Preps podcast, it was time to bring in the heavy hitter.
Former Record sports writer Thomas Lawrence was the featured guest on the latest edition of the podcast, bringing with him the area knowledge that has made him a fixture in local sports and helping break down the high school football season so far.
Lawrence, who continues to contribute to this paper as a freelancer, discussed his early career as a journalist, from his time on staff at The Orion - Chico State’s student-run newspaper - to his work at The Redding Record Searchlight before heading down to Stockton to join The Record.
Lawrence always had a love for sports, he said, but also sees himself as something of a realist. He got to a point in his youth when he realized he didn’t quite have the skillset to be a professional athlete, and saw the concept of sports journalism as the next best thing.
“I was like, ‘this is how I can have sports be a part of my life,’” Lawrence said.
Other topics in the podcast included stories from his time working with various organizations in the north state, the best hikes each member of the podcast had completed and the time Lawrence had a run-in with Dennis Haysbert, the actor who played “Pedro Cerrano” in the movie Major League, at a Steelers-49ers game.
And, of course, prep football was discussed. Here’s a look at where the former and current beat writers stood on potential players and coaches of the year, and predictions for the rest of the way.
Player of the Year
Lawrence: Giovanni Gonzalez, Chavez; Logan Fife, Tracy; Trabron Russell, Manteca.
Woodard: Cameron DeVille, Stagg; Giovanni Gonzalez, Chavez. Raleek Brown, Edison.
Coach of the Year
Lawrence: Reggie Camps, Bear Creek; Andrew Beam, Escalon, Mark Varnum, Manteca.
Woodard: Whichever SJAA coach wins league; Chris Musseman, Ripon
TCAL: Lawrence - St. Mary’s. Woodard - Tracy
SJAA: Lawrence - Three-way tie between Bear Creek-Edison-Chavez. Woodard - Edison
VOL: Lawrence - Central Catholic. Woodard - Central Catholic.
Contact reporter Nick Woodard at (209) 546-8272 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter@nwoodard25.