COACH WITH A WALKER
For the first time ever, or at least in my state tourney experience, a coach roamed the sidelines of Rupp Arena using a walker. It was Coach Happy Osborne of Montgomery Central. Osborne was a longtime coach of Georgetown College. After 31 years there and then one year at Tennessee Tech, Osborne took on the challenge of high school coaching. His team made it to the semifinals of the state tournament. Coach Osborne, one of the most likeable guys in coaching, recently tore a muscle in his leg when stepping off of a bus. He coached the entire time at state while using a walker. He would lean on the walker when standing or walking. It also had a seat he could use when he chose to sit down. At one point, Osborne became displeased with the officials and chased the three guys to center court at Rupp Arena while using his walker. It was quite the site to see ole Happy popping the walker on the floor as he took each step.
BILL FORT WAS RIGHT
The above statement comes as no surprise. My old friend Bill Fort is so thoroughly prepared and vastly knowledgeable that it is hard to ever prove him wrong in any case. I thought I finally had him. Bill always glows when talking about his family. I have also heard him say many times how beautiful his daughter Elizabeth is. Oh yeah, he also claims that she is just about the best cheerleader there is. I tended to think, yeah sure Bill, you are just a proud papa. Well it is true. Bill and his wife Patience’s daughter Elizabeth is a freshman cheerleader for the state champion Madison Central Indians out of Richmond. I had the opportunity to watch her cheer at state. Let me tell you, Ole Bill was right on both counts. What a beautiful girl and great cheerleader Elizabeth is. Congratulations on your state championship.
I heard this all week from former coaching guru Jim Wallace. The physical play in basketball is ruining the game. He kept saying, “Someone is going to get hurt bad at this tournament.” He was also right. There must have been 15 take-your-breath moments when a player soared high in the air only to be knocked to the floor as the crowd gasped. Each time the player would lie motionless for a while before slowly getting to his feet. Put it like this. If you want your son to be a basketball player, he probably should be lifting by about the ripe old age of three months.
Q IN RUPP
It was great to see one of our own honored at the Sweet Sixteen on Rupp Arena’s floor. Trigg County player Deonquez Nance, or Q as I call him, was honored at halftime of a game as the 2nd Region Player of the Year. He also participated in the East-West All-Star Game, which was held at Transylvania University. In two weeks, Q will try out for the prestigious Kentucky All-Star team, which plays the Indiana All-Stars twice this summer, in the oldest high school All-Star series in the nation.
OT: Tune in next week for a feature on a former Trigg County teaching legend.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.