LOOK BEHIND the scores and win/loss records for your Bedford County high school football teams and you will find growth in skills,accountability,and leadership.These young men are learning how to look out for their neighbors while taking care of their own responsibilities to create success.
Coach Josh Puckett at Shelbyville Central acknowledges that they’ve had a tough start to their season; however, he sees an increase in the players holding each other accountable and really putting in the work at practice to create consistent improvement. He hopes the team can see their dedication result in winning momentum. He’s particularly proud of his players’ response to adversity and working to rebound and make good decisions under pressure. The team takes the legacy of the Bedford County Training School football team to heart. On September 3, a sign was unveiled recognizing the record-setting football team of the 1940s and early 50s.
Coach Jake Tyre at Cascade has seen his young team, with only five seniors on his roster, rise to the challenge of adversity. Whether a quarterback injury that puts pressure on the remaining players or an exceedingly close game where the team really pulled together and maintained their excellence to pull out a tough win, he is seeing leadership displayed through personal responsibility. Spectators in the stands may not realize the thought that goes into the coaching decisions that happen during games: who to play in which position and how to respond to the other team’s strategy and skill. It is a delicate dance based on the needs of the moment for the team and the individual players as well as what the coaches have been seeing in practice.
Community’s Coach Chris Grooms’s team has a lot of upperclassmen playing and he loves seeing the tight group that is being built in his football family. Seeing them do things in and out of practice together demonstrates the trust they are building in each other. They play hard for each other and are “all in with everything they do” whether that is reviewing a game film where they learn from mistakes or playing with perseverance against a tough opponent. Having all of his team in the same strength and conditioning class enables their after-school practice times to be shorter while decreasing injuries. This helps Coach Grooms’s players to have more balance in their lives for academic pursuits and relationships.
Each of the coaches recognizes the challenge of COVID-19 and the uncertainty of how it will affect the season.They see their players taking more personal responsibility and awareness of their health through increased hygiene and making good decisions. These players, along with the support of their coaches and families, are demonstrating how to protect their neighbors and strive to do their best, on and off the field.
NEIGHBORS TAKING CARE OF OUR KIDS Year-round there are unsung heroes of the maintenance and custodial staff who help to keep the schools and grounds in great shape.The pictures of Thomas Magnet School demonstrate how hard this maintenance team worked on painting, clean-up, and the grounds to prepare for the coming school year. Across the county, there are diligent workers doing jobs who may not be recognized so taking a moment to appreciate all of those team members for their dedication can mean a great deal.
Sometimes extra support comes from the local community and brings a big push to a project. Cascade Elementary staff and students were the fortunate recipients of playground clean-up done by Mathew Allen Trucking and Hawkins and Price Excavating. Looking out for each other and supporting our schools are part of what makes Bedford County such a wonderful place to live.
As the days move forward, having hearts of service toward one another and doing our very best in whatever role we are in demonstrates for students in all grades what it means to be part of a community. Whether on the football field or in the classroom, looking out for your neighbor is always in season. -GN