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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
If Blake Bratcher’s life was a buffet line his plate would shatter from the weight. During the day Bratcher is a judicial law clerk for Honorable Judge Steve Dozier. At night he is a student at the Nashville School of Law with plans to graduate in December of this year at the top of his class. He also balances a family life with his wife, Christa. To fill in his spare time he is active with The Joseph School which is being developed in Haiti under the direction of Jim Bryson. A major fundraiser for The Joseph School is scheduled for Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the YMCA at Christ Church on Old Hickory Boulevard. To register for the 3-on-3 tournament go to http://thejosephschool.org/hoopsforhaiti/. The deadline is Oct. 4. Bratcher spent some time after law classes to talk with lipscombsports.com.
How did you get involved with The Joseph School project?
“I met Jim Bryson through First Baptist Nashville. We have become pretty good friends. He really has a heart for Haiti. He goes over there once a month.
“Jim is a former state senator and Republican candidate for governor against Phil Bredesen. Jim runs a company called 20/20 Research. Land has been acquired in Haiti and Jim is trying to build a high school for Haitian children. Haiti is lacking in secondary schools.
“The school is designed to develop future Haitian leaders. Ideally, these kids will go there with a specialized curriculum focusing on leadership (other areas of emphasis include academics, service, discipleship, language, Haitian history/culture). After they graduate they will be educated in the United States and go back to Haiti to run their country.
“Jim is a real visionary. The school is just now getting off the ground. I am glad that I am a part of it. I have not visited Haiti, but I plan on going after I take the bar exam in February.”
What is “Hoops for Haiti”?
“Hoops for Haiti” is a 3-3 basketball tournament. The tournament is Oct. 12 at the YMCA at Christ Church on Old Hickory Blvd. All the proceeds go to the Joseph School.
“It is getting some speed behind it now. It is for anyone 18 years old and up. The entry fee is $120 per team and each team is guaranteed at least two games. Each player gets a T-shirt and a chance to win some prizes.”
What sport did you play at Lipscomb?
“I played baseball in 2008. I transferred from St. Louis University. I was lucky enough to be on the Lipscomb baseball team that went to Athens, Ga., for the NCAA Regional.”
Why did you choose Lipscomb for your final year of college baseball?
“I came to Lipscomb because of coach Jeff Forehand. I was born and raised in Nashville, When the coach at St. Louis retired I decided I wanted to go somewhere else. I made contact again with coach Forehand. He had recruited me when he was the coach at Trevecca.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario coming back to play for Lipscomb. Coach Forehand and I are great friends to this day. I had lunch with him a week ago.”
Why did you decide to attend law school?
“I have a degree in Management and Finance from Lipscomb.
“I felt called to go to law school as my father, grandfather, great -grandfather, and two uncles did. The profession calls for zealous advocacy and service, and I want to do just that.
“I had always wanted to go to law school so I decided to give it a try. I wanted to be a sports agent. But I ended up getting an internship with a judge and I really liked the litigation side of things.
“I will graduate in December at the top of my class or No. 2. I have worked hard. I am proud of my accomplishments there.”
What is your favorite sports memory of your time at Lipscomb?
“It was great to go to the NCAA Regional (Bratcher was named to the Athens All-Regional Team), but more than the regional my favorite memory is the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship game with Gardner-Webb down at Stetson.
(Editor’s note: The Bisons needed a three-run 15th inning to beat Gardner-Webb 10-9 in the championship game. It was the first time in the history of the tournament that the No. 1 seed, Lipscomb, had played the No. 4 seed, Gardner-Webb, in the championship game. It is the longest game played in an Atlantic Sun Tournament.).
“The championship game really stands out. We had a bunch of transfers and older guys. During that tournament it seems like we all kind of came together. That is one of my fondest memories in sports.
“It was a great run. We had a lot of great guys. It is great to see what God has done in those guys’ lives as they have branched off into other things.”
Who was your favorite professor?
“One was Turney Stevens. He co-taught one of my entrepreneurship classes. He was just amazing. He mixed the practical side of the business world along with the academic side which is great. He is a real success.
“Another was Steve Little. He was teaching business policy and strategy when I was there. He was a real world business guy. He could teach, but he had also been a success as well.”
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
“Lipscomb is for people, teachers and students that put an emphasis on service. Not only are they spreading God’s love, but they are serving others. And they don’t have to talk about it.
“I am trying to live that life daily. I try to serve others and put an emphasis on being selfless. I am busy, but I try to take time for those kinds of things.”
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
“I can honestly say coach Jeff Forehand is the reason I came to Lipscomb and he is the reason I still support Lipscomb. He made me a better man. I can’t say that about many people, but he really did and he still continues to do that for me to this day.
“He just welcomes you into his home. He is one of those guys that if you are around him you are going to end up being a positive person. You are going be packed full of energy. He is just encouraging. He is great.”
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
“I am a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Judge Steve Dozier.
“I perform research and substantive analysis on various criminal issues. I do legal writing/order drafting on evidentiary, constitutional, sentencing and post-conviction matters.”
Tell us about your family.
“My wife’s name is Christa. She is incredible. She is an R.N. at St. Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.