With just about a month until the school bells start ringing, kids are enjoying what little time they have left. While some are running around chasing Pokeman, most that I’ve witnessed are doing something constructive.
Several kids this past week really impressed me with their work ethic and also their willingness to talk about what they’ve accomplished so far this summer.
One of the busiest places around has to be the Infinity Fitness Center in Sistersville. Lots of kids from all over the area are coming to the center to take advantage of trainer Nate Taylor expertise, in hopes of improving their speed and quickness as the fall sports season is fast approaching. Taylor, a graduate of TCHS and West Liberty University, is just what the doctor ordered for some of these kids.
He has a wealth of knowledge in speed training and was instrumental in helping Tyler Consolidated’s 4×100-meter state champions this year. Last winter, they spent countless hours working under his tutorship to prepare for the 2016 track season and it paid off in a big way. Now, some of the best athletes in the area are coming down to work with him and get to where they want to be come fall.
Last week, I noticed a couple of Magnolia’s stars at the gym. Preston Boswell, who will be playing basketball at Wheeling Jesuit, and Tyler Anderson, who will be in this weeks OVAC All-Star Classic and than onto play for the West Liberty Hilltoppers, have both been spending time with Taylor. Many of the local high school players from the local schools are there on a regular basis as well.
I had a chance to talk to Taylor this past week, and from what I could gather, he has a good thing going and is doing what he loves to do. That seems to be what makes people successful. Taylor loves to teach the younger kids how to improve. He was a standout track star at TCHS and wants other’s to experience the thrill of victory.
After making my rounds to the local schools and ball fields this past week, I soon discovered the fitness center was not the only place of activity. Kids just seem to be more dedicated this year than I’ve seen in the past. The weight rooms at the schools are being used and on any given day, you can find kids practicing their golf swing or running the hills in anticipation of cross country soon starting. Several boys were seen last week, tossing the pigskin and running routes. It looks like it will be another great year for local sports teams.
Girls volleyball will soon kick off and you can bet there will be some exciting matches. The local schools have been highly competitive in the past and are regulars in the state tournament. Look for more of the same this year as there are some highly skilled girls coming back who have spent many hours since last season sharpening their game.
Many kids in the area are having a banner year with this warm weather. The swimming pools are open and for those who don’t play sports or have a job, there’s a good chance you can find them cooling off in the local watering holes. Paden City and Sistersville have had some free swim days, thanks to the generosity of local clubs, businesses and individuals. Another favorite for all has been the night swims and dances.
While there is plenty to do, it still amazes me at the amount of adults who can’t find anything better to do than to chase after Pokeman. Sometimes, I think why don’t they get a life or better yet, a job. Never in my life have I seen so many people who want to live off the system and do nothing. Folks, there are jobs out there. I know some young adults going to college this fall who have two jobs. So for those who want to complain there’s no work, yet have money for cigarettes, booze, drugs and gambling, (oh, yeah let’s not forget fireworks) I say, keep chasing Pokeman. We wouldn’t want you to look at how hard these young athletes are working because it might make you sick.
Keep following what you’ve been taught and keep teaching it to your young’ens, then they will be just like you – no work ethic, no real life and no future. Teach them all your bad habits and then blame everyone else when the curtain falls.
Now with that said, God Bless all you good, God fearing, loving parents who work hard to provide a quality life for your families. God bless you for providing a positive example for your children to follow. Thank you for caring for them and protecting them from the evil of drugs, alcohol, gambling, abuse (physical and mental), and thank you for providing them with an education so they may have a better life. Much praise to you for supporting them in their activities, for teaching them right from wrong, for taking them to church, for making sure they have food, water, clothes and shelter.
These are the basic things children need in their lives in order to succeed. They need a strong, mentally stable family life where they know they can find help when things go wrong. Nearly every athlete that I write about comes from that type of atmosphere. So I salute you who work hard to give a better way of life to your children and put them first in your life, ahead of any bad habits you may have. It often takes doing without yourself to give a child what they need to compete in this crazy world. I thank the parents who do this.
Even though the school bells no longer actually ring as they did in days gone by, the old Bible verse is still and always will be true! Train up a child in the way that he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It thrills my soul to see the way most of the kids are being raised in our area, but it makes me sick to see the suffering and abuse dished out by selfish, lazy, worldly people who want everything for nothing.
Until next week, keep working hard and you will see the labor of your work.