James Phillips – Life After Dora High

It is hard to believe it’s already been over six years since I left Dora
High School and 10 years since I first set foot in the school as a nerdy
freshman. Some things have changed since that time but strangely enough some things haven’t changed a bit and I seriously doubt they ever will. Dora’s the kind of place that’s hard to forget. During my years at the
school (1992-1996), we certainly had our share of interesting people, both students and teachers. I won’t name any names, but we had our share of stereotypical people.

James Phillips at EDS

There were dumb jocks, band geeks, wanna-be debutantes, gothic freaks and the list continues endlessly. I like to think that my ability to interact with this assortment of characters was one of the things that prepared me for the remainder of my life. I’ve always thought books and studying can be really overrated compared to the learning you do everyday from communicating with people.
Since graduating from Dora in 1996, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and spend time with some of the most interesting people anyone could ever imagine. As some of you may know, I spent four years as a full-time sports writer. I was Assistant Sports Editor at the Daily Mountain Eagle during
most of that time, but have also had my work published in newspapers across the state and in several different regional magazines. I’ve won many awards for sports writing and hope to win a few more. Currently, I work at Electronic Data Systems in Hoover where I do disaster recovery work on BellSouth’s mainframe computers. I only work a three-day shift at EDS, which
has allowed me to continue with my writing career on a freelance basis. You should frequently be able to read sports stories from me in the Birmingham News and also in the Eagle. It’s also giving me time to pursue my dream of becoming an author.
My favorite thing I’ve written so far was my now infamous wrestling column which ran in the Eagle for almost a year before it was abruptly pulled from the pages of Walker County’s favorite (only) newspaper. If any of you know me, you’ve heard me talk about being a wrestling fan from the time I was born. That column gave me the chance to meet some of my heroes from childhood. I’ve also got good news for any of you that may be wrestling fans. My column “Inside the Squared Circle” could be coming back in the not to distant future. If your really interested, keep an eye out here on the Dora website and I’ll have some news about that upcoming.

James and wife Andrea

The luckiest thing to ever happen to me took place while I was still at Dora. For some strange reason, I was lucky enough to start dating Andrea Morrow, who is also a 1996 graduate. A few years later, we got married and to me our life together is like a storybook and it keeps getting better with every page we turn. The biggest chapter in that story so far is about to begin in late October or early November when our first little one is set to arrive. I’m amazed out how much my life has changed just since finding out that I was going to be a father, but that’s a different story for another time.
Andrea and I both really enjoyed our time at Dora. Most people will tell you that they made friends for life while they were in high school. I can honestly say with the exception of Andrea and just a handful of other people, I didn’t make friends for life, but I do feel like my classmates and teachers as well as any other Dora graduates are apart of my family. You’re just the long-lost cousins that we don’t get to talk to very often.

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