Take time to say thanks

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

R-C News-Herald Editorial

We ask a lot of our coaches.

We ask them to be perfect on game day, tough in practice, loving to our children and the role model some of them have nowhere else.

Fortunately, many of them respond. They work hard. They go the extra mile and they give of themselves to the point of exhaustion.

There are coaches right here in this region who have given years of service to the athletes of Bertie, Gates, Hertford and Northampton counties. There are those who have dedicated their lives to children.

It’s not an easy job. No coach, no matter how good, can be perfect the way we ask them. What they can do is care about the children who are in their charge.

It’s amazing that as much as we ask of them, we rarely say “thank you” to those who do so much. We expect they know we appreciate it or, at times, maybe we just take it for granted.

Thursday afternoon Wake Forest University was stunned. Skip Prosser, one of the best coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference, died suddenly. Prosser, by all accounts, was one of those coaches who worked hard, loved his kids and gave his program everything he had. His death was sudden and sad.

Sometimes we take for granted that we’ll have the pleasure to come back and say thank you at a later time. Those who played football for Al Vaughan, Ron Cooke, Daryl Allen, Diego Hasty and Richard Murray have had that opportunity. Unfortunately, those who played for Carl Brock have not.

We never know what tomorrow may bring. We never know when the person we expected to be there forever won’t be anymore. In a perfect world, those coaches who spend their lives working hard for student-athletes would be around until all of their athletes understand what a vital role they play. Sometimes that doesn’t happen.

There are exceptions, of course, but the vast majority of coaches in this region love the children that are in their care. The coaches give everything they have to make their athletes more successful, better people and productive citizens. They are men and women of dignity and character.

We are proud of those men and women who give their all for the student-athletes of the Roanoke-Chowan region. For that reason, we take this opportunity to say thank you to Bill Mitchell and his coaches at Ahoskie Christian School, Marvin Rankins and his staff at Bertie High School, Edith Williford and her staff at Bethel Christian Academy, Lulu Eure and her coaches at Gates County High School, Charles Simmons and his staff at Hertford County High School, Robert Kravitz and his coaches at Lawrence Academy, Joella Brown and her staff at Northeast Academy, Greg Watford and his coaches at Northampton County High School n East and Doug Cobbs and his coaches at Ridgecroft School.

We would be remiss to leave out the coaches at Conway Middle School, Hertford County Middle School, Central Middle School and Bertie Middle School as well as those who give their time in recreation leagues throughout the four counties.

We say a heart-felt thank to those who have given their all. In case we sometimes forget to say the words, we do honor your commitment.