Thursday, November 26, 2009
Another football season is in the books at the local level.
I’ve been on the sidelines covering high school football for about 25 years. I’ve never really considered it work.
I’ve been there when players and coaches have hoisted state championship trophies. I’ve been there through winless seasons, still giving the young athletes the coverage they deserve, and trying to uplift them through the pages of the newspaper because of their tireless efforts on the field.
The South Reporter staff covers sports for the kids – pure and simple. We produce education pages each week for the kids – pure and simple. Our young people in this county deserve the attention and the encouragement.
Like all other seasons, this one left me with some thoughts. Because of my newspaper work, I’ve built a network of friends in the coaching business.
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from one of my good friends, coach Clifford Brown at Holly Springs High School.
He told me he had resigned. It was not totally unexpected, because I know “Coach” pretty well after spending five years following his Hawks.
This season was a tough one. But there were good times, too – like the three playoff seasons, and the school’s first playoff win ever.
But most of all, I know how much Coach Brown loved the kids. Coaching goes far beyond the “Xs” and “Os.” Even though you’re only judged by wins and losses, there’s a bigger legacy for all coaches.
I appreciate the job Coach Brown did at Holly High. And I thank him for always being there when I called and needed information for the newspaper.
I also appreciate the job Cedric Richardson is doing as principal at Holly High. He was my guest at the Rotary Club recently and his talk to Rotarians was terrific. He is focused on the school attaining its goals – academically and athletically.
I’m not a school administrator. I have a hard enough time just running a newspaper.
But I would say that for Holly Springs football to succeed, it must have more support – from everyone in this community. It needs its own facilities – not a city park.
Holly High is adding more sports, like softball and baseball, thanks to Mr. Richardson’s efforts.
How about the city giving the park to the school district for upgrading and the city seeking grants and other means to build a new park for youth baseball and softball, maybe even including a water park (instead of a pool)?
We must invest in our future – our young people.
Holly Springs High School athletes need their own facilities they can take pride in. And Holly Springs children, who are coming together through the countywide programs, need better fields that they, too, can take pride in.
Maybe just a complete overhaul and upgrade of Sam Coopwood Park would work.
I also thank coach Markeith Washington at Byhalia, coach Keith Wicker at Marshall Academy, coach James Kimbrough at H.W. Byers and coach Shane Stone at Potts Camp for working with the sports staff this season. We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to cover five varsity teams on Friday nights in years to come.
But, no doubt, we will get it done, because most of all, it’s for the kids.
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