The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 18, 2012

Runner relays prized ring

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — As Amber Lucian Tyree, a Baxter Springs resident and avid runner, pounded across the Spring River bridge near Riverton last Saturday, something caught her eye by the side of the road.

Tyree is training for a 50K — yes, that’s a five and a zero, as in 50 kilometers — by running from her home to Galena and back, and she has found a number of curious items on her morning runs.

“I’ve found a lock, unusual pieces of metal, a picture of a cow, and an engineering license that belonged to a man in the 1970s,” she said. “But this was a giant ring, a big find.

“It was a football ring, and said ‘Tulsa’ on the top. It also said GMAC Bowl, the year, the score of the game and who they played,” Tyree said.

She also found the player’s name — Logan Cawyer — engraved inside.

“As soon as I get home, I looked him up on Facebook,” Tyree said.

She sent him a few messages but received no reply.

“I did the Facebook stalker thing to see who else he was related to,” she laughed.

It worked, and last week Cawyer returned Tyree’s message with a request to call him. The ring was his, he confirmed, and had been stolen from his car outside his parents’ home in Miami, Okla., in July.

Cawyer had an outstanding prep career for the Commerce (Okla.) High School Tigers, where he was a four-time all-district selection, newcomer of the year as a freshman, defensive player of the year as a junior and senior, and was an all-state selection as a senior.

The 6-foot-4 tight end graduated in 2006 and went on to play at the University of Tulsa, where he redshirted as a freshman. On Jan. 6, 2008, the team faced off against Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and routed the Falcons 63-7 — the largest margin of victory in bowl history, surpassing the 55-point margin set by Alabama over Syracuse (61-6) in the 1953 Orange Bowl.

And it earned Cawyer his ring.

In 2009, he transferred to Northeastern State University at Tahlequah, Okla., where he now works as a graduate assistant coach for wide receivers.

Because Cawyer is in the middle of preparations for football season, Tyree returned the ring to Cawyer’s father, Chris Cawyer. He’ll deliver it to his son when he makes the drive to Tahlequah for the first game of the season on Aug. 30, when the RiverHawks play Pittsburg State.

“I never thought I’d see it again,” the younger Cawyer said by telephone on Friday. “I worked hard for it. I was about to try to reorder another one.”

The ring was scuffed up a bit, Tyree said. She speculates that the person who stole it tried to throw it off a bridge and didn’t quite make it. But that’s not all that was stolen from Cawyer that day.

“It turns out there were two other rings also stolen that he is anxious to get back,” Tyree said.

As for the small metal scrap pieces she has accumulated on her morning runs, Tyree, also a hobby artist, is keeping them.

“I would like to eventually turn them into something, like something cool for the wall — I just don’t know what yet.

“I’ll keep an eye out on future runs. You never know what you might find.”

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