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Parents of athletes deserve praise for support

Posted: December 25, 2011 - 12:06am  |  Updated: December 25, 2011 - 1:54am

Usually at this time of the year I make out a Christmas wish list for area coaches or come up with some other Christmas-related column. I even wrote a poem last year inspired by Twas the Night Before Christmas.

This year, I wanted to do something a little different. I want to say thank you to a certain group of people.

Last week, I had a long talk with a parent of a local athlete. That talk got me thinking about all the time, hard work, dedication and love that goes into being a parent of a young athlete.

In the past, I have written a few columns berating parents for overstepping their bounds when dealing with their children’s athletic careers.

While that problem certainly exists, I like to think those parents belong to a small minority. Most parents in our community do it the “right” way. They support their children, their teams, their coaches and their schools.

They drive on long road trips and pitch in at the concession when needed. They hurt when their child suffers a stinging defeat, or give money when the team has a need.

A lot of times we focus on the parents who act poorly. They sit in the stands and bad-mouth the coaching staff to whoever will listen, or the ones who carry it even further and try to dictate how the team will be coached. Well, for every one of “those” parents, there are 20 others who show up, cheer the wins and console after losses.

The parent I spoke to talked about the rides home after games with his son and how he cherishes those times, and he joked that with his son graduating he might miss high school football more than his kid. He won’t necessarily miss the football, but he’ll miss the time they spent together because of football.

He also mentioned to me that he had contacted his son’s coach just twice during his high school career; one of those calls was after the season had ended to thank him for coaching his son.

You see, we tend to focus on the “bad” parents, because the “good” ones do not call attention to themselves.

Most of you know I respect and appreciate everything coaches do. They work too many hours for too little pay. They have to deal with those “bad” parents I mentioned, and they do it because they love working with young people. Well, this holiday season, I wanted to let all of the supportive parents of young athletes know they are appreciated, too.



In my Wednesday column, I detailed the success several area teams had at a regional football tournament. One of the players who performed well was Hunter Bentley. Bentley helped lead the 14-Under Saints to the championship. I listed his last name incorrectly. My apologies to Mr. Bentley. He had a TD reception and ran back an interception for a score during the tournament.

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Comments (3)


A Pleasure

It was one of the biggest pleasure in my life following my son and his baseball career for about a decade. From the first time I saw him play "machine pitch" baseball, I knew things were going to be exciting. I once rushed back from a meeting in Orlando in order to watch 10 year olds play a game. I'm telling you, it's something.

I've been to towns in Georgia I've never heard of. Try spending a weekend in Cochran, Georgia. Waynesboro in 100 degree summer heat, playing 3 games in one day, where we had to find shade from buildings and lay on the grass between games to escape the heat.

This went on all the way through his college days and, trust me, it wasn't a chore. High school, fall ball, summer ball, it's all a blur where it was, but the games will never fade.

He's a lawyer now. When I hear some are better, I say, maybe, but can they shutdown Evans pitching and hit a homerun in the same game?


amen Riverman1

Our oldest son just finished his senior football season and their has been numerous times when I was sitting in the stands wishing I could hold on to that moment forever. From Columbia Co. Park and Rec. all the way to official visits to some of the biggest programs in the south, I have enjoyed evevery minute.


Seeingmuchclearer, Wow!

That's fantastic about your son. I hope he does well in college. If Clemson is in the mix, so much the better. :)