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The Press Box

By Staff | Feb 1, 2017

I often wonder why some parents believe their kids deserve all the playing time.

And for that matter, kids believe they should be in the game all the time and others should always set the bench.

I wonder why they question the coach! I wonder why they think their kids are better than others or for that matter just deserve more playing time.

I wonder where kids get the idea that they can question the coach. What gives them the knowledge to know more about the game than the coach? That’s what coaches are for, to decide who plays and when and where. From what I’ve seen this year, especially in basketball, you would think there is no need for coaches. Everyone else seems to know more about the game, including the players.

If I was coaching, there are a few kids this year that would have been suspended or removed from the team. Rule number one for me was always listen to what the coach had to say and if you have to question him or her do so in private. It is in very poor taste to argue with your coach during a game or in front of anyone.

Can you imagine doing that with Coach Huggins? This past week the Mountaineers lost a couple games they should have won and many were questioning Huggs. Yet he stayed with what has made him a great coach and the result was a big win over another number one team. He demands discipline and respect and he gets it.

I can tell you right now that some kids desperately need discipline. I love to watch basketball. I love to be around the game and although I am by no means an expert, I can tell you most coaches know more about the game than parents, fans and the kids. Especially at the high school level.

Huggins once said, “You only deserve to play when you deserve to play.” I have thought about that a lot and I have come to the conclusion that it means you must prove yourself. Not just as a good player, but as a good person with a good attitude. Someone with respect for the coaching staff and their teammates. Someone who shows up everyday with a will to learn plus a desire to work and work hard for what they want.

You must have guts to play for some coaches and coach Huggins is one of those. Can you imagine players getting in his face and telling him how to run the team and who to play. I can’t!

We don’t have a Coach Huggins’ around here, but we do have dedicated coaches who care about their kids and want to see their teams win. Why do we keep hindering them?

You don’t like them fine, stay away from them or stay away from the games. Some of them are not my favorite either, but I make it a point to encourage everyone of them. Not only to lift them up and make them better coaches, but to also benefit the kids. Some coaches hear so much negativity that the kids end up paying because the coaches no longer care and are ready to give up.

Winning ball games is the ultimate goal, but it takes a combination of teamwork, cooperation, skilled players and determination from some of the less skilled.

I have lost some respect for some kids this year. I don’t dislike them because I like all the kids at our schools, but when you question officials as a player or question your coaches it only makes you look foolish. Coaches, you deserve respect and you should demand it. If you allow disrespect, you can expect it. The same goes for parents, teach your kids respect, practice it yourself and help make our sports teams more exciting to watch. Help make our schools stand out as good sportsman. Remember “You only deserve to play when you deserve to play.”

A little common sense and respect can some times be that deciding factor. While I’m at it, I have to touch on this subject once again. What I have said about respect for coaches also goes out to officials. Some fans have been making a habit of questioning nearly every call made. It makes you look foolish! I would say the same to you, “You only deserve to question a call when you deserve to.” Officials are getting harder to come by and they certainly don’t appreciate being ridiculed in public. If you have a problem with them, catch them after the game and ask for an explanation. After all it’s not your place to question them it’s the coaches.

New Martinsville puts on one of the best high school basketball events each year in the annual Rotary Basketball Challenge. Year in and year out there is none any better here in the valley. Saturday’s challenge was no exception. With six games on tap starting at 11:30 a.m. and the final tip off at 8 p.m. basketball enthusiasts got an opportunity to take in a days worth of excitement. The Bishop Donahue – Williamstown game was a classic with the Yellow Jackets besting the Bishops in a donnneybrook. Weirton-Madonna knocked off Tyler Consolidated and Paden City bested Monroe Central in O.T. before the Blue Eagles got roughed up by the states number one team Wheeling Central. Early in the day Beallsville defeated Paden City and Magnolia beat Bishop Donahue in the Girls division.

The New Martinsville Rotary, all the sponsors and the behind-the-scene workers are to be commended for putting the time and effort into a quality event . It takes a lot of hard work from a lot of people to accomplish an event such as this. Rotary members were hard at work on Friday evening setting things up and Saturday morning everything went off without a hitch. Just to provide the endless food line for the coaches, referees, and media people was a huge task. Thanks again for the great hospitality and a great day of basketball. For the regular fan it was $5 well spent.