As I wrap up my fourth and final season as a basketball manager for the Hillsboro High School Trojans, I’m starting to realize just how lucky I am to have accomplished such a task.

In my four years under Coach Darrel Knoll, the Trojans have compiled an outstanding overall record of 66-23.

I think it’s safe for me to say that not many people in the area would be able to brag of the same record.

To give credit where it’s due, in my two years as a manager for the Trojan football team, the boys on the gridiron compiled a stifling 14-4 record, and the Trojan baseball squad has gone 54-16 over a scant three-year period.

I shouldn’t forget girls’ basketball, cross country, track, wrestling and volleyball teams that have gone to state in my four years at HHS, and credit also goes to the Trojan softball team that inches closer and closer to a state berth each year.

The point I’m trying to make is not that these teams have done so well because of my ability to be an outstanding manager, but rather because of our coaches, whom I can only described with one word: Awesome.

Sure, Hillsboro is home to several fine athletes, but an athlete doesn’t become great without the assistance of a great coach. It’s not every day that a coach just walks out and happens to win 300 games in a career.

I’m pretty sure it takes a good coach to be able to boast no losing seasons over 14 years.

I’m also very sure that an assistant coach doesn’t win a state “assistant coach of the year” award for not knowing anything.

Whether our athletes know it or not, they are being coached by people who know their respective game. But our coaches do more than just lead our teams. Our coaches also give our programs class, which carries over to our fans.

Speaking of our fans, though I have been known to be disappointed over the lack of enthusiasm in our crowd at basketball games, I have to say I am very proud to be from a school with fans like ours.

I don’t know that teenage athletes learn anything good from a gym full of quacks who will point out every mistake a referee makes at one end of the court, and complain louder when a referee makes a call against their team.

Whether cheering or not, our athletes love playing in front of a crowd that truly appreciates the hard work they’ve put into the game and the skill they’ve developed because of it.

I’m also proud to be from a school whose followers show their support for students outside of the gym, football stadium, or baseball/softball diamond. It is this support in most cases that affects a person the most.

One aspect that often goes unnoticed in our school system is the music program. Dave Clark does wonders with our kids year after year-and because of that, our vocal music program has become known and respected statewide.

Then there’s the instrumental music program, which at one point was just as popular as the vocal program. I have to tip my hat to Mr. Gregg Walker. As a student in the program, I know what he’s up against in rehearsals.

The one thing I’d like to ask is that the community and school give him some time. It’s not easy to turn a band program around, but he has what it takes.

At a recent middle school band and choir concert, I noticed that several people got up and left between the choir’s performance and that of the band.

For those of you who decided to leave, you missed a great treat. I had been told that the middle school band was a special group, but after hearing them in person, I can back up that statement. If each of them sticks with band, which I truly hope they do, I fully believe we will be up in the ranks of the Marion, Goessel and Peabody bands.

When this happens, the Old Settlers Day Parade in Marion will be great! The Marion County Fair Parade will be every bit as good.

I also think the day that Mr. Walker’s dream of a Hillsboro band marching in the Cotton Bowl Parade is not far off. Our band program right now has half of what it needs to be great-extremely talented kids.

All it needs now is support from parents and community. All athletes love playing in front of a packed crowd. The same is true for musicians.

With some solid support from the community and parents, I think the day when Hillsboro is home to a great music program will be here before we know it.

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