Ring Mystery 2 SOLVED!! We now know why a Clinch County ring was found in an LCHS tree!

May 19, 2005

The Lincoln County Ring Sleuths are 2 for 2! And, no surprise to us, Lincoln County football was involved in getting a Clinch County Basketball State Championship ring into a tree on the LCHS campus some 18 years ago.

This mystery began on April 28, when we received this email from LCHS CheerDevil coach Marcella Goldman:

Guess what! Another ring has been discovered. This time, however, it was found on the LCHS campus as Yarbrough was collecting bugs with her Biology II class. Jordan McCombs knocked this ring, hung on a chain, out of a tree. It is a 1987 Clinch County Basketball championship ring with the initials BL engraved on the inside. Once again, this ring belongs to a manager. Got any connections down south in Homerville?

Here we go again! Sleuths at work!


Now, we have to admit that we didn't believe this story at first. How in the world would a Clinch County ring get into a tree at LCHS? We asked Marcella for a photo of the ring, to be sure she wasn't trying to pull a late April's Fool joke on us. A few minutes after Marcella's email, her fellow CheerDevil coach Heather Yarbrough sent this email to us:

Well, I have another ring story that maybe you can help me with my Biology II class is having to make an insect collection and as we were looking today, one of my students (Jordan McCombs) was using his net to catch an insect from a tree. When he hit his net on the branches, a class ring attached to a thick silver colored chain fell to the ground. It is a Clinch County State Championship Ring from 1987. It says MGR (manager) on the side and the top is red with a picture of a basketball goal on it. Inside the ring, I can make out the first initial of B.

OK, this sounds legitimate. We put out a call on the GAVSV Class A football forum for anyone from Clinch County to contact us on a little project. Our friend Swampy emailed us, and we provided him the information we had. He quickly identified the original owner:

That ring belongs to Booker T. Long. That was my senior year and I kept stats for boys and girls basketball. I haven't seen him in about 15 years but I will try to locate him.

But Sleuth Marcella didn't wait to hear back from south Georgia, and checked an internet white-pages website; she " typed in Booker Long and came up with his dad in Atlanta. Booker calls his dad daily and Mr. Long is going to give him my number. It seems we are about to reunite this ring with BL. " After a couple of weeks and no response, she called again, and

I called the father's number today and Booker, Jr., happened to be there. His dad had told him everything. I reiterated the fact that we wanted to get his ring back to him but he had to tell us "the rest of the story". His response was that he had just gotten so mad after the football game between Clinch and LC that he lost and threw his ring and chain as hard as he could. He seems to be happy that he will soon be reunited with a piece of his past. I will get with Heather tomorrow and we will mail it to him!

Once again, a good deed takes place because of the "best dang sports site on the web"!

Until the next find or football season!

That 1987 game ended 14-7 as our Red Devils beat Clinch County in the quarterfinal matchup of two 12-0 teams. Big Red won its third consecutive state Class A title two weeks later against Brookstone.