From My View For March 14
The title of this column is what happened in the recent teacher and school service personnel work stoppage. They got fired up. They rallied around each other and certain politicians. They had students on the picket line; they made trip after trip to Charleston to get the attention of our representatives.
They got news agencies involved – locally, regionally and nationally. They used facts and figures to get their point across, and in the end, they won. I think the result came about because they were “fired” up. They had enough and decided to fight back. It seems they won, but I’m still not sure as to whose expense. I think they did the right thing; however I’m not sure the overall results will be positive when I think of where the money will come from.
When I think of getting fired up, it takes me back to the days of old. Back when the big game was on the line, and the student body would gather together in the gym or on the football field. The high school principal, coaches, teachers and athletic director would call for a thuse (enthusiastic) meeting. Today, I think they call them pep rallies.
The purpose was to rally the troops and get them fired up over the big event. Sometimes, the best athletes were called on to speak; most of the time, the coach would give a stirring speech. They were masters at getting everyone on the same page, and they stirred excitement in the school kids who would take it home to the parents.
Evangelist Billy Graham could take the pulpit and in a calm, yet almost scary voice, say “Just as I am.” Graham would say it in a way where you thought, “I have to do it; I want to do it; I’m going to do it.” He gave you assurance, confidence, that it didn’t matter to God what you looked like, what your skill level was, how you acted. Whatever your life has been like, you can still be a winner.
It’s the same way the old-time coaches used to get the troops fired up. General George Patton was a master at it and gained many victories over the enemy with words alone. You have to have faith! In the Bible, James says faith without works is dead. Your works prove your faith.
If you ever listened to Paden City’s coach Henry Healy rally the troops, you know what I’m talking about. Coach Dave Cisar is another. I’ve heard him speak, and he can make the hair on your arm stand up. Coach John Stender, Coach Bob Burton… these are just a few who had the knack of motivation.
New Martinsville’s own Billy Stewart gave what I consider to be the best motivational speech ever. He had laid it on the line and fired up an underdog Mountaineer team, which sent them to one of their biggest victories ever.
I watched the Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights last Wednesday as they defeated a good Cameron team who had beaten the Knights a couple weeks earlier. Cameron came into the game with a 19-6 record, second best ever at their school. The Knights, however, had confidence. I had been asked prior to the game who I felt would win. I said the Silver Knights will take this one. I had a feeling, and sometimes that’s all it takes. Dylan Roberts told me after the game he had a feeling! He wanted the ball, because his feeling was they would foul him. He would make it -14 straight in the fourth quarter. Somehow the Knights were fired up. Was it Griffin Phillips back braking three pointers to start the third quarter? Was it the half-time speech, or the excitement of the big crowd? The great student body could have done it!
Who spoke to these kids? Who got them fired up? I have a feeling who it was! Believing you can do something is one thing, but knowing others believe in you is a whole different ball game.
I like the example of a local businessman who runs a thriving furniture store out of a small town; he’s a good salesman who uses every weapon available to him to draw attention to his product. He puts out a quality product and stands behind it. And so he becomes a winner; his confidence in himself and his product rises, and his desire to do more increases.
If someone were to ask me who is going to win Thursday’s game with Wheeling Central, I would probably say Central.
Silver Knights, let that fire you up. Prove me wrong!
I know Tyler Consolidated has a good team. I have confidence in them, but can they beat Wheeling? Everyone says no. I say yes, but I don’t think they will. Coach Leach will probably tell them, “Yes you can, and we are going to do it!” He will probably say something like, “Right now, I wouldn’t want to be playing the Silver Knights.” He may not give a Billy Stewart speech, but I imagine he will get the Knights fired up and instill some confidence in them that just might make the difference. That’s what good coaches do! They put out a good product everyone else wants to copy; they surround themselves with quality people who protect their best interests and secrets.They work their team hard; they work hard themselves. They know who to use and when; they scout the other teams, and they watch films. They listen to their players and take advice from other coaches if needed. They come prepared, ready to win and ready to accept defeat. They make sure their team gives 100 percent, win, lose or draw. This team has brought excitement to Tyler Consolidated basketball which hasn’t been seen since 2007. By the way, that was coach Leach who led the 2007 team as well. Go get ’em Knights!