Thank you coaches for making a positive impact

It was a cold and rainy night last Friday in Zanesville as our Tigers played their last football game of the season. The Tigers went into half-time only down one score and the Tiger fans were hopeful. As the Blue Devils began to pull away in the second half, I saw my wife’s demeanor begin to change. She obviously didn’t want a loss for our Tigers but that wasn’t what was bothering her. She had her rain jacket on, her hood up, and the cold rain was pounding on her face. She looked at me with watery eyes and said, “I would sit forty more Fridays in this weather to get to watch him play.” You see for most it was the end of the season, but for us senior parents it was the end of an era. My wife had realized we will never watch our son play football again. The game ended, the teams shook hands and the field was clearing as the coaches and players made their way to the locker rooms. A few of the senior Tiger football players were still on the field as if they weren’t sure what to do. That’s when we saw our son get a big hug from Coach Schob. My wife turned to me and said, “we are so lucky to have had such amazing people influence our children.”

Most of the time we talk about the highlights from the game on our way home from our kids’ high school sports. Friday night was different. All we kept talking about is how blessed we have been to have such great people in our kids’ lives. We reflected on how we have changed over the years with their sports. Things that we once felt were important no longer seem so important. We discussed the strengths of the high school coaches that have influenced our children. Although some of the positives we found didn’t seem so positive at the time, each coach has developed new strong points in our children. Through adversity comes strength. Their mentoring, demands, and love have helped prepare our children for the future.

We have already gone through a senior season with our oldest son. We have one more senior year to go with our daughter, and we have full confidence that everything related to high school sports will be as enjoyable as we want it to be. Our oldest son, now a sophomore in college, has given much credit to his coaches and teachers for preparing him. It’s clear to see the important lessons the coaches have given our children.

In today’s world of social media, it seems that criticizing a high school coach’s every move has become the norm. As fans of the game, parents are passionate especially since we have our children playing. We want what’s best for them! We want them happy! High school coaches are looking out for the best of every child and the program. High school coaches do make mistakes, but they do a lot more things correctly. We would like to specifically thank those who have coached our children at Marietta High School. Thank you, Jim Thrash, Josh McKitrick, Scott Hollister, Aaron McIntire, Jason Schob, Darren Stevens, Garic Warner, Larry Burke, Mark Duckworth, Ed Paxton, Glenn Dawson, Ryan May, J.D. Secrest, Allen Ruth, Gary Tucker, Shawna McKnight, and all the assistants for your positive impact on our kids’ lives. Also, thanks to all the other high school coaches for your positive impact on all our children.

Steve and Nicole Hill