On this Thanksgiving eve, I want to give out three special shout outs.
Normally my shoutouts are to teams and athletes who do something impressive, but my shout outs this week are to three coaches who will not be roaming the sidelines in 2020.
My first shout out goes to Chad McCarty, who resigned as Spearfish High School’s head football coach after the 2019 season.
McCarty is a great coach who put his heart and soul into the program.
Unfortunately, not every player shared that same passion and love for the game of football.
Sure, they show up for practice every day and do what the coaches ask, but they don’t want to do the little things it takes, like going after the weight room, or attending summer camps, or staying after practice and working on the little things to become better football players.
There are some who don’t buy completely into the coaches’ philosophy, and when they have a bad season they look at others to blame, not once saying I take some of the responsibility in my team’s failure.
News flash: you aren’t going to beat a Pierre or a Yankton by just showing up to practice every day.
Pierre is having great success were its football program because the players and parents have bought into the coaches’ philosophy, and the kids do whatever they need to do to try and get a competitive edge.
Like I said, McCarty is a great coach, and unfortunately the last few years have seen the program decline drastically in numbers.
I hate to see him leave under the circumstances he left in; he deserves better. I hear “we need to change the culture” to get the Spearfish football program back on track.
Time will tell if that will happen.
My next shout out goes to Anthony Bradley, who resigned as the boys’ head soccer coach at Belle Fourche High School.
Bradley loved to coach soccer, and it’s a shame that a few rotten apples to his joy for coaching the Broncs away.
That seems to be a growing trend not only in the coaching ranks, but with officials as well.
That’s a shame, too.
The biggest losers in this are the kids on the soccer team that wanted to play and worked hard to get better: not the ones who didn’t want to put in the time or effort to make themselves or the team better, or the fans and parents who do nothing but complain and spell false rumors, not caring for one second those who may be hurt by their sharp tongue.
Thankfully, Bradley will continue being involved with youth soccer in Belle Fourche, coaching kids who appreciate his time and his knowledge of soccer.
My final shout out goes to John Reiners, who resigned after eight seasons as head football coach at Black Hills State University.
I know that wasn’t an easy decision for him because his heart belongs with his players and coaches, as well as the university.
In my opinion, Reiners helped change the culture of football at Black Hills State. The players bought into his system, and they became more than just a football team; they became a family. You saw the team more visible in the community. You saw players staying after a practice or a game helping clean up the locker room, not because they had to, but because they took pride in everything they did.
I don’t like it that Reiners resigned, but he did what he thought was best for him, his family, the players, and the university.
I can respect that.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.
It is a time to give thanks and share moments with loved ones.
I have a lot to be thankful for.
I work for a great company, The Black Hills Pioneer, who has treated me not as just an employee, but as a member of the family. For that I am thankful.
I am thankful to be alive.
Four years ago, I was not at home on Thanksgiving; I was at the Rapid City Hospital fighting for my life.
My wife Reba stood by my side four years ago and never stopped believing I’d make it. I was in the hospital 21 days, and she was there every day.
This will be our 22nd Thanksgiving together, and I plan on cherishing this one with her more so than other ones, making memories and continuing to bring the love, joy, and happiness to her life, just like she’s done for me.
I encourage you to do the same.
Enjoy this and every Thanksiving like it’s your last.
It just might be.