Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life Goes On 12.14.10

Hello Folks,

After three plus years of volunteer assistant coach for our school districts junior high basketball program, I hung it up. I love basketball so much and it was a hard decision to make. When most coaches my age are moving on, I started.

I have been coaching bball off and on since I was 18 years old. The Lancaster Businessmen awarded me a small scholarship upon graduating high school back in 1972. Part of accepting the scholarship was to work for the Lancaster Boys Club. During the next two years, I coached the 10-12 year old basketball players. The young team played in a local bball league on Saturday mornings and also traveled to Boys Club tournaments.

Once I had children and they grew old enough to play in recreation leagues for baseball and bball, I coached or co-coached their teams. I also continues to play basketball in the Lancaster Recreation Basketball League and volunteered to be a team captain each year.

When my buddy, Dell Jackson, took over the varsity bball coaching position at Penn Manor School District in the late 90's, I helped out by running with the team in open gyms. Dell later moved to Donegal High School to take the position of head basketball coach until 2007. We would run open gyms with his Donegal players from 2000 to 2006.

So, when Dell accepted the Penn Manor head coach of the junior high program, he asked me if I would be willing to volunteer assist his coaching staff. I was now retired and was looking for something that would allow me to "give back" to the community. This seemed to fit the bill and I agreed to help.

Dell and I worked closely in coaching the 9th grade program. I also assisted the Grade 7 and 8 coaches in whatever needed to be done to develop players.

In the next three years, we developed the "winning-est" junior high school program in the county. In fact, the initial 7th grade team I started with only lost 1 game in three seasons. That alone was a record of 45-1! This group of boys have now moved up the the high school J.V. level.

Here's a pic from the 2008-09 season. Four of these boys are now on varsity and the other six have away from bball and play other school sports (football, volleyball, golf, etc.) :

"Tornado Alley" took the above shot and one for each county team. These pics were made available for purchase by families and team fans. Dell would always buy me a photo as a gift since I didn't get paid for my coaching.

One thing that I always appreciated was the kindness of Dell Jackson and Don Martin. Whenever we gathered after a game, they treated me to a bite to eat. It was a "token of thanks" for what I did for the program throughout the year.

This year was not going well for me as a volunteer assistant coach. Last week, I ripped into the players for poorly running a particular drill. Although someone had to do it, I felt that I overstepped my boundaries as an assistant and felt bad about it later. I think that I have become emotionally and physically drained and this is what they got from me... The "Bad Dad" side. :(

After quite a bit of deliberation and talks with my loving wife, I decided to do what was right for the team and myself... As of yesterday, I resigned my volunteer bball coaching position.

Over the past four years, these young men have certainly had a major impact on my life. But it was truly time for me to move on and enjoy my winter afternoons at home rather than running the bball floor from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.