Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

August 31, 2012

On The Rebound: Few men rank ahead of your coach

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In the hierarchy of men in our lives, the list usually reads God, father, and coach. Each teaches and molds us in a different way with great direction on what we become.

You should never depart from your God or your father, but most do not stay attached to a coach through their adult years. Maybe they should.

Coaches do not seem like real men. They are larger-than-life characters pulled from a movie script or written about on the pages of a book. They are always right, always true, and immortal, until they are not.

There are a lot of people still hurting with the loss of G.J. Smith. There is a void that cannot be filled by any other person if you played for coach Smith. I guess that goes for any coach. I still hear people talk about names from the past. Names like Glenn Polley and Charlie Bell are followed by great stories. Stories about state championships of Roy Bowling, Rex Fredricks, and even Chuck Broughton already seem like they compare to titles by the New York Yankees and Ali vs. Frazier. They seem mythical. You can scan the wall at Weaver’s and see faces of coaches years before your memory. They still command respect in black and white, surrounded by boys that surely would have followed them anywhere.

The coaches that played a role in my life are the same. I still think Jack Cupp can dismantle you with one stare. I cannot address Bill Carson by his first name because he was and also will be “coach. “ I still wonder when I see my Little League coach, Mike Hensley, if he remembers errors I made.

That is why it still seems like I let down coach Smith. I quit baseball my sophomore year. I always wondered if he remembered that. When my duties at this job brought me and coach Smith together we never visited the past. I don’t think it crossed his mind, but I always felt like I let him down.

If a player cannot treat his coach with respect, he needs to pack his bag and find something else to do. You are doing no good for your team or yourself. And coaches, every player that does gather in that huddle and listen to you will be affected. The words you say today will still ring through their memories when they are broken down old men or sportswriters.

The coaches that win games are revered above all others, as they should be. Sports are about winning and losing. Coaching at the high school level and below is also about something much greater than winning a game. It is about influencing a number of lives that you will never be able to see or count. Lives of people that will not even know you changed them until it is too late.

Goodbye coach Smith. You will never be forgotten.

mhoward@sentinel-echo.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: An almost completely true fish tale

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

Facebook
AP Video
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results