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September 14, 2013

Thoughts from the Seidlines…

Difference Maker

As someone who has done more coaching in my life than anything else, I often reflect on the motivation behind it all. Is it to satisfy competitive juices and experience the feeling that goes along with winning athletic events? Is it the enjoyment of working with young people and helping them reach their potential? Or is it the camaraderie you establish with assistant coaches, players and sometimes parents?

Well, all of that was put into perspective Friday night when former Olivet High School athletic director Tom Sowles, speaking to a capacity crowd during a pre-game ceremony for Dean Peters, described the keys to the legendary coach’s success. The part that will stay with me for a long time is when Sowles mentioned a “desire to make a difference in each athlete’s life that (Peters) has coached.” That’s really what it is all about, folks. And, judging from the crowd that showed up to witness the ceremony, it is clear that Peters has made a difference not only for hundreds of athletes but also an entire community.

In quoting the words on the plaque that Peters received, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

I Like/I Wonder

Since we’re in a reflecting mood, this is a great time for some “I like/I wonder” feedback for the O-Zone (also known as the Eagles’ student section). So here we go! I like the fact that a relatively large group of OHS students turned out for Friday’s football game. I like that nearly 200 students have purchased the new O-Zone t-shirts — and there are more available for those who want them. I like that the students stood during most of the game and focused on supporting our team and not berating the opponent. And I like that the O-Zone did not throw Student Council Advisor Whitney Male under the bus for bringing the beach ball that was temporarily confiscated in the second half.

As for the other side, I wonder if the O-Zone’s location in the bleachers is the best spot. The students seem too far away and some spectators behind them had a difficult time watching the action. I wonder if we should identify some O-Zone leadership, basically individuals who dictate the cheers and chants on game night. The support was great Friday, but there was some awkward silence at times. I also wonder how we might get more of the marching band to join the O-Zone after halftime. Just saying…

Music Shortage

Part of being an event manager, so to speak, is creating a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for the spectators. With that said, we are failing miserably right now when it comes to providing music at our fall athletic events. Sure, the volleyball teams have their own Top-40 CD and the marching band takes care of varsity football halftimes, but we’re definitely struggling the rest of the time.

Take the junior varsity football game on September 5. Since no one has created a warm-up and/or halftime CD, scoreboard operator John Collins snagged a few from his personal collection and brought them up to the press box. We played a few tunes from the Dave Matthews Band and Blues Traveler, but they still seemed a little out of date for a high school football game. We also were going to play We Built This City by Starship, but clock operator Steve Martin reminded us that it was once labeled the “worst song in the history of the world.” I assume that’s not good.

The low point of our music issues occurred during a lightning delay at last Wednesday’s varsity soccer game. I’m not sure where they found it, but press box personnel Scott Smith and Dana Higgins located the soundtrack from Grease and played it for the entire 30 minutes. While the first song, Grease Lightning, had everyone smiling, the others had spectators shaking their heads.

Stay tuned for some adjustments in this area.