Words by Al Blanton | Image by Blakeney Clouse
Former coach and teacher Greg Tinker, in conjunction with Blanton Media Group, will host a weekly sports interview show called “The Lead.” The show is set to begin next week and will include interviews with local players, coaches, and sports legends in Walker County.
“I am grateful for another opportunity to be connected to sports in Walker County, which I have been a part of for decades, going all the way back to my years of little league baseball in Jasper, and through playing junior high and high school sports which eventually led to the privilege of coaching for 29 years,” Tinker said. “I’m very thankful that Al has had the vision to make this possible. I believe it will be a great addition to the rich tradition of sports in Walker County, past and present.”
Tinker’s first interview is with Al Blanton, owner of Blanton Media Group and publisher of 78 Magazine. Blanton played basketball for Tinker at Maddox Middle School and played baseball for him at Walker High School.
“Greg has been a great friend and mentor throughout the years, and I’m excited that we get to work together on this project to celebrate the local sports community,” Blanton said.
Tinker graduated from Curry High School in 1982 and played baseball for two years at Brewer State Junior College in Fayette, Alabama, where he was named National Junior College Academic All-American. He then transferred to Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, where he graduated with a BA in History in 1986. Tinker returned to Jasper that same year and began teaching at Maddox Middle School.
Tinker served as a youth pastor at Jasper First Nazarene Church from May 1996 to May 1999 and currently serves as the Pastor at Saragossa Nazarene Church. Along with Mitchell Pittman, Tinker has provided the play-by-play for Walker/Jasper Viking television broadcasts for more than two decades.
Both Blanton and Tinker hope that the new show will enhance the robust sports culture in Walker County. “Walker County has a rich history in athletics, and we want the show to be a mix between the present and the past,” Blanton said. “You’ll be informed, but you also might get a bit nostalgic. We look forward to that.” WL
The Lead will be presented on The Walker Leader Facebook page, website (www.walkerleader.com), and YouTube. For sponsorship opportunities for the show, please contact Al Blanton at 205-587-1170.