Author Donald J. Then is a former resident of Batesville and Hillenbrand Executive.Former Batesville resident Donald J. Then announces the publication of his newest novel, McToon’s Final Shot, a humorous golf story and satire set on a fictional course called The Hillview Club, situated in Morris, Indiana.Then’s nom de plume is D. James Then.The premise of McToon’s Final Shot finds the world’s number one golfer, Bobby ‘Killer’ Jackson, coming to Morris to play a private round of golf at famed Hillview with his former college roommate, Percy W. ‘Dubs’ Roberts who is Hillview’s head professional. Their private round will be played on the Monday before the U.S. Open, which will be played in Indianapolis at famous Twisted Stump.Hillview is one of the world’s top courses (many say it is the toughest), which was designed by local landscaper Goomba Tettrazinni in the 1930s for Hillview’s founder William Hopcandle, an ultra-rich lothario. Hopcandle, who loved golf, owned several businesses in Morris and earned billionaire status by creating the Willie’s Wienerwurst-Brand of hot dogs, which quickly earned the nickname ‘Big Willies.’Through a series of unique circumstances that are both funny and witty, Jackson and Roberts end up playing local seniors Mac ‘the Knife’ Tanner who is 64 and Angus ‘the Mad Scot’ McToon in a match to end all matches. McToon, an 86-year-old golf instructor of some fame, owns the Penntown Driving Range.They play the first nine holes for $200 dollars and a case of beer per man and the back nine for a potential one-million dollars for the winning team. The match is also broadcast on The Golf Network for the world to hear.Along the way, in this comical portrayal of golf and its characters, readers will come to know the players of the match and an array of characters that make Morris a unique and bucolic place in which to live. One reader has described this book as ‘Lake Wobegon meets Tin Cup and Caddyshack. He says it is a “laugh a page.”Mr. Then, a former member of Hillcrest in Batesville, says, “McToon’s Final Shot is a pure work of fiction. I want to make people laugh, I always wanted to be a gag writer and so I wrote this story. I conceived the story during several trips to Scotland and as I hit golf balls every day. I wrote the novel for golfers everywhere who dream of walking in the footsteps of giants. The story reflects the actions of people I have met at home and abroad, and comments I have heard here and there.”The novel is a humorous golf story set on a fictional course in Morris.Interested readers can learn more about McToon’s Final Shot, by visiting Then’s website or going to Amazon.com where they can read half-a-dozen chapters.About the Author: D. James Then, a former Forethought executive, is a resident of Northern Kentucky, a native of Western New York, a former owner and publisher of an award-winning Sunday newspaper, a 30-year marketing executive, and a graduate of St. Bonaventure University’s Journalism School where he received the 1974 Mark Hellinger Award.Mr. Then retired from Hillenbrand Industries in 2002. He has a master’s degree in management, is a former broadcaster, and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Besides McToon’s Final Shot, Mr. Then has published two bracing novels, That Tender Light (part of which is set in Batesville, IN) and The Heart By Which We Live, both of which are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, other book sites, or via Mr. Then’s website. To read more about these novels of adventure, intrigue, and rebirth, visit Mr. Then’s author page on Amazon.com. In addition to humor and satire, his writing focuses on the nuances that bring people together or pull them apart.
Former USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster slated 96 yards on seven receptions last night against the Buccaneers. (Daily Trojan file photo)The NFL season is underway and Week 3 has concluded with the first- and second-year Trojans making an impact on their respective teams. Along with a talented crop of rookies, former five-star recruits and receivers Adoree’ Jackson and JuJu Smith-Schuster have demonstrated the USC football program can develop talented players and take them to NFL stardom. Sam DarnoldBranded the face of the Jets franchise after a resounding 48-17 win in his debut against the Detroit Lions, rookie quarterback Sam Darnold struggled against the Browns in Week 3. The pressure was on Darnold on Thursday night to show the Browns they should not have passed on him in the draft with the No. 1 pick. After coming out hot to a 14-0 lead fueled by a strong ground game and consistent quarterback play, the Darnold-led offense sputtered. Following an injury to Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor, rookie Baker Mayfield played his first real snaps. The pressure was even higher as the two highly touted rookies duked it out, but Darnold threw two critical interceptions that overshadowed his solid start to the game. These errors resulted in a 21-17 loss for the Jets.JuJu Smith-SchusterAnother Pro Football Focus hero, second year wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster had a 134.0 passer rating on passes targeting him his rookie year, the highest for any rookie receiver in the last 10 years. It’s hard to say that Smith-Schuster is a breakout candidate because it feels like he has already broken out. In his first two games, he’s backed up his fan-favorite personality and eccentric touchdown celebrations with 240 receiving yards and a touchdown. With Le’Veon Bell out for the foreseeable future due to contractual issues, there will be plenty of opportunities for Smith-Schuster to showcase his talent.Adoree’ JacksonAfter posting an 82.3 Pro Football Focus grade and making it onto Pro Football Focus’ list of “Second Year Players Primed to Breakout in 2018,” second year cornerback, Jackson has not disappointed. While it’s hard to evaluate a cornerback’s performance based on statistics alone, Jackson has recorded plenty to justify the hype. In his second game against the divisional rival Texans, he demonstrated his athleticism while recording his first career interception over superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Jackson has come into his own after a rollercoaster rookie year and is positioned to be a stud for the Titans, who hope to return to the playoffs this year.Ronald Jones IIRookie running back Ronald Jones II was taken in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft. Yet, in spite of the Bucs’ bottom ranking ground game, Jones has not played a snap with Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers ahead of him on the depth chart. In the NFL season’s third week, Jones hoped to have made more of an impact to balance the Bucs’ passing attack. He struggles to fit into the Bucs’ vertical offense as a player who doesn’t catch the ball much; Jones only had 32 catches his entire college career. As the Bucs’ backup quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick was thrust into the starting job and is averaging over 400 yards passing and four touchdowns over the first two weeks Jones will continue to find where he fits in.Uchenna NwosuAfter striking fear into the hearts of Pac-12 quarterbacks last year, rookie outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu began what he hopes will be a reign of terror on quarterbacks at the next level when he recorded his first sack in Week 2 against the Bills. Otherwise, Nwosu has been relatively quiet on the stat sheet, but is seeing an uptick in snaps after only seeing two defensive snaps his first game. In spite of major injuries, the Los Angeles Chargers are eyeing a playoff berth, and Nwosu looks to be a key piece in a dominant defense this season.