Re­flec­tions from Coach Smith

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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