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Spring will be a fun one

I’m a football guy from Texas.

To me, there is no better place to be than in a packed stadium on a Friday night in the fall watching two teams battle it out. And it’s all about who wins.

That being said, I must admit to really liking the spring. And I’m glad it is here.

After spending a couple of months inside covering wrestling, basketball and swimming, all sports that I like, it is nice to get outside and experience what the spring sports have to offer.

And since this is my first spring in Madras, I am curious to see how things will play out.

And so far, I am looking forward to this spring as it should be quite the year.

I have been in this business a long time, yet I cannot remember a time where I’ve seen so many new coaches starting their tenure at the same time.

Of the eight sports that I will be covering this spring, five will have new coaches. That’s a lot of turnover.

Both the Madras and Culver baseball and fastpitch teams have new coaches in place as well as the Madras track and field team.

It’s unusual, but at the same time, refreshing.

Because of my background, I am all about winning at the high school level. That was what I grew up with; you won, end of story.

I have covered high school sports in six states now and I haven’t come across that mentality outside of Texas much.

Until now.

There is a desire here to win and it is one I like.

It starts with coaches and filters down. And the new ones have the right attitude.

So when I meet baseball coaches like Nick Viggiano at Culver and Sam McCormick at Madras, it makes me smile.

They are both young, energetic guys who want to win. But they both talk about doing things the right way, building a program and getting kids to believe in what they are doing.

There is a process to building a program and a lot goes into it. It’s more than just fundamentals and practice, it’s about bringing excitement and joy into what you are doing.

It’s also about making things fun and wanting to win, which is the ultimate in fun.

I love stuff like that.

I would have loved to have played for guys like Viggiano and McCormick; they make the game fun. But the bottom line is they want to win. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

The fastpitch teams at both Madras and Culver fit that mold.

With new coaches Charlie Brown and Jack Layton, there is an air of fun at practice, but the underlying desire to win.

And I expect both of those teams to be in the mix for state berths come May.

Melissa Bowerman and Mike Dove are doing the same with their respective track teams. And I like the way they coach.

They push their kids to better themselves, which is what coaches should do.

The desire to win should come from the top. And I think it does here.

The kids seem to feed off that just like I did so many years ago.

Winning is the ultimate fun. Just participating really doesn’t count in my book.

Winning teaches things that are not taught anymore. It takes hard work, belief and desire to win. I feel our kids don’t get much of that taught to them these days.

These days, It’s more about participation and cheering.

I never got orange slices for taking part in football practice. I got bruises, sore muscles and a broken nose.

But I also held up a lot of trophies.

And that is what it is and should be about.



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