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Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

Another Valley football great is lost

Posted Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 4:56 PM

Thomas "Tim" Wright died in March.

Mr. Wright has not lived in the area for some time, but there might be a few Missouri Valley College football fans who remember him.

He graduated from Valley in 1952 and played under famed MVC football coach Volney Ashford.

Certainly Marvin "Juicy" Sprigg remembers Tim Wright. Juicy nominated him in 2010 for MVC's Football Hall of Fame.

The nomination summary reads, in part: "He was known as a triple threat football player. [He could pass, kick and run.] Tim was a running back, quarterback, punter, and a defensive back for Coach Ashford's Vikings. He was Co-Captain in 1949 and 1950. He also participated in track as a high jumper."

The summary also quotes the 1949 Sabiduria: "The Kirksville game was a good game, but a good looking Irishman from Chicago by the name of Tim Wright became the fair haired boy as a result of the victory. Wright performed outstandingly as a punter and got the Vikings out of some tight situations. That game marked the beginning of the football career of a great Viking player."

The text notes other accomplishments. Wright spent three years in the Air Force during World War II based in Africa and Italy. He received 11 battle stars. He was president of the MVC student body in 1950.

After retiring as a vice president of Hiram Walker Inc. and until his death, Wright managed the driving range at Stanford University Golf Club.

Wright was survived by his wife, Sue, a daughter, a son and two grandsons.

He didn't make the cut for Valley's Hall of Fame last year, but he's in Juicy Sprigg's Hall of Fame, and that's good enough for me.

As we get ready to welcome a new slate of Valley greats into the Hall of Fame this weekend, Juicy wanted the local community to know about Mr. Wright's death -- and for those who remember his service to his country and his service to Valley football, to have a chance to mark the loss.

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Eric Crump is a former editor of The Marshall Democrat-News. He lives elsewhere now but still loves Marshall and Saline County. He's trying to catch up on all the stories he should have written while he was on staff.
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