Where are They Now: Mike Cason
Mike Ennis Cason graduated from old Vienna High in 1967 and went to Georgia Southwestern to play basketball. To say Mike came from an athletic family would be an under statement. His brother Eugene has already been profiled in this column. However, that’s not the whole story. Mike graduated college in 1972 and went to work coaching at Fullington Academy from 1972 till 1977. Coach Cason made a move to Crisp Academy from 1977 to 1981. After 10 years of coaching Mike decided to join the private sector and went to work at Georgia Pacific Particle Board in Vienna where he stayed for 18 years till 1998. Coach Cason returned to coaching by taking over the girls and boys basketball teams at Fullington Academy where he would remain till 2013. Coach Cason compiled a total record of 402-265 over 20 years as head coach at Crisp Academy and Fullington Academy. While enroute to those 402 wins . Coach Cason while coaching boys and girls basketball collected 6 different region titles in girls in 2001, 2002 ,2003, 2005, 2006, 2009 and two state runner up awards in 2009 and 2010. He also pulled in 4 Region titles in boys basketball in 1978,1980, 2007 and 2008. While at Crisp Academy Coach Cason had a great deal of success winning a State title in 78-79 season while compiling a 29-2 record. The following year would see his team make another run at the title only to come up short in the state semi-finals.
“ Mike was a great man in my book, it was like having another father, he would do anything for you and he new what he was doing,” said Don Odom a Coach at Crisp Academy and former player. “ When I got here and took the boys basketball over, I spent a many hour in his office picking his brain, he is so very knowledgeable” said Van Bailey, the Current Head Basketball Coach at Fullington Academy.
In 1985 Mike married the love of his life the former Cherra Raper of Atlanta, Ga. and he raised two boys with her Cliff and Scott and they have 3 grand children Dylan, Isabella and Cassy. In 2013 after prolonged illness Mike resigned his basketball duties. Mike was diagnosed with two rare diseases Eosinophilia Fasciitis and DermatomyositisxΩ which are essentially a blood/skin disorder and a type of muscle deteriation disorder. The one disease causes serious immune problems and causes Mike to get sick easily.
The extreme medical expense that he has and continues to face daily especially in travel to and from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. Has depleted his financial resources. It is highly unlikely that Mike will ever be able to return to work given his age 66 and health status. A “Go Fund Me Account” in his name has been established to help off set the travel expenses that Mike and family must incur to get him the treatment he needs. As we move along in our daily lives we will always remember that once upon a time down in South Georgia a good man named Mike Cason taught young boys and girls a game called basketball. He didn’t do it for the money because High School coaches don’t get rich, he didn’t do it for the exercise because he was always a very active person. Mike Cason did it because he wanted to make a difference in young peoples lives and that he did. Hundreds of adults today are better off because they were coached by Mike Cason. Mike and Cherra continue to live in Dooly County in the Drayton community and enjoy their grandchildren.