Reflections from Coach Smith
This will be a column where I ramble all over the place. The topics will travel from an item or so on sports ( which are usually covered in my Wednesday column) to the area of health and medicine. Then there will be a statement of sadness on domestic affairs. That statement, while personal in nature, could apply to every family whose children have come of age and “taken flight” from their original and native surroundings.
Those words are the title of a feature in the September of Reader’s Digest. It features one Richard Marsh, who the doctors said was in a coma. Marsh was completely unable to function in any manner. He could hear and understand what was being said by those around him and when the doctors indicated he had only a 2 percent chance of survival, he could not move, could not speak or make any indication that he was conscious, but he could hear and understand what was being said.
This is an article everyone should read. Recently I indicated in this column that stroke and Alzheimer’s were the two maladies feared most. More than likely, most readers and their families have been touched by one of these terrible afflictions.
Again, let me encourage this story which will touch your heart. You are encouraged to find the ending for yourself. You will be lifted in spirit.
Let me briefly share a personal matter: I like to brag that I have lived in Calhoun my 83 years of life. My two children and four grandchildren grew up here. They all graduated from Calhoun High School before heading to Harding University in Searcy, Ark. Both Jeffery and Summer came back to Calhoun and made homes here. None of them live in Calhoun now.
Today, their mother ( Nita Chitwood Smith) finishes her move to live with our daughter Summer Mills in Florence, Ala. It was to her house at 423 Boulevard Heights the children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren came “home” for visits and special holidays. Nita’s big house allowed for the large Name a player I would want to recruit and tell me how to approach him or her. The friend has yet to come up with a name or an answer.
Years ago when I was coaching at Calhoun, we tried to schedule Dalton as the first game of the season. The loud cry was, “Why do you play Dalton, they recruit?” Most proponents of that position could never name me a player Dalton recruited. First, let me affirm I did not care. I did know players who transferred to Dalton from other cities. That is true of nearly every school in the state. Families move of their own accord. That is not recruiting.
I have neither the time, space or disposition to write all I know about recruiting efforts in our own county. It is more expedient to let the matter rest rather than see red faces. I will say this: The ego of players and parents is so great that bragging is often done about a coach trying to get a player to come to their school. It is so often that some person now of adult age will say to me that they wish they had come to Calhoun when I was trying to get them to. Without exception the person was taking a fanciful flight of vanity. Often I did not even know the person and I certainly never asked a player to follow me anywhere. And that is true of most coaches.
Coach Lamb gets the boys out for his team and does the best job of developing players and making a functioning team of them than any I have ever known. From their number of talented players, they form a team into the “Best 11.” Give thought to the difference between the 11- best players and the “best 11 players.” And to one Paul whose letter to the editor a few years ago condemned this writer of trying, in my column, to persuade ( recruit, if you please) parents to send their child to Calhoun High, please note I said “If I had a talented child I would turn the world upside down to get him in Calhoun City Schools.” It was not said, “If you….” You can send your child wherever you want. Paul proved to me he can’t comprehend what is said.