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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two Outstanding Young Men

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Below are a series of emails that I wanted to share that I believe sums up very well what SportsLeader is all about ...
The emotion, the passion, the struggles, the hopes ... seeing the results and having a heart exult with pride.
Maybe you are not seeing some of these results at this moment ... but KNOW that you are changing lives.


I am sending you this email with joy in my heart, and a bit of emotion on my sleeve.  It has been less than a year still since I took over here at Madison Southern.  With 3 wins in the previous 4 years, you can imagine what the confidence, attitude, and overall work ethic of this place has been.  Not good would be a kind statement.  My goal in taking this job is to of course turn around a program that  everyone feels is a losser, but more importantly I wanted to get closer to the root of impacting kids.  At the collegiant level I only had so much influence, as they are sure of who they are by then.  Madison Southern was my chance to change lives on the ground floor, and make men out of boys.

I have to admitt, at times this year I have struggled to see as much progress as I wanted with my leadership and character development.  During season, it was shining through our young men on a daily basis.  I could see it in their eyes and in their determination to not quite despite a rough season (we won 2 games, which I felt was decent with where we started).  After season, kids go their own ways and they became distant from the program.  This is usually short lived, but I could see the changes in character and virtue taking place, and not for the better.

I am a perfectionist by nature and I want to see every kid that comes through my program become the best he can be.  I struggle sometimes with the realization that this isn't always going to be the case, despite my tireless efforts.  Some people just choose the path of lease resenstance.  That being said, I struggle seeing the good things we are doing sometimes because I am always focused on for lack of a better term, my failures (the ones that I know have the potential to be men of virtue and strength but struggle making good decisions).  I often feel that for every step I take forward with one kid there is always another who will take two steps back.

There is an email below that I recieved today that almost brought me to tears (sad I know, but it hit me).  It is something that has given me fuel to keep fighting the good fight, and ever harder.  I have never felt as proud of anything, as I do of the young men listed in this email.  It reaffirms me that we are getting through to them and that we are making better men.  It takes time and it does not happen over night, but it happens...and because of us.

I have to preference this story a bit, as to why it makes me so emotional.  They young men in this story are young men I selected to do this based on that fact that they have nothing at is very tight and they struggle constantly financially.

Thank you for all your guidance and support.  It is trickling down Lou...1 drop at a time.

Jon Clark

Head Football Coach
Madison Southern High School

From: Ramage, Amy
Subject: FW: Two Outstanding Young Men at MSHS

Coach Clark,
First, thank you for assisting me by finding two outstanding young men who helped me to move last Friday.  Wes and Brett were both great help.  I wanted to share with you what I shared with Superintendent Floyd this morning.  I have been around young people all of my adult life, and maybe two or three times have I ever been as moved as I was by what Brett Sipple said and did last Friday.

Thanks, again.  I can see the character that you and your program is building in your young men and you should be so proud.  Whether they having a championship season on the field or not, these two young men are going to be winners in the game of life.   Brett invited me to come to a game this fall to see them play.  If I can get back to the area from western Kentucky on a game night, I will definitely be there to see them play.

Thanks, again-
Amy Ramage

From: Ramage, Amy

Mr. Floyd,

I hope this finds you well.  I wanted to share something with you because this is indicative of what I always found so special about Madison County and the people there.  I think it also represents what you see there and what you are working for every day.

Working through Coach Clark, I asked if he could find me a couple of football players whom I could hire to help me load furniture for the move last Friday.  Coach Clark arranged for Brett Sipple and Wes Proctor to come over Friday after school for $50.00 each.  First, I have to tell you that these two young men were extremely polite and respectful (and they were great heavy lifters!). When I went to pay them is when I was touched more than I have been in a long time.

Brett Sipple explained that he could not take any money because he was seeking to be “an uncommon man” and he wanted to do things for people who needed help without taking anything in return.  He then offered to go with us to help unload (not knowing we were going over 200 miles).  I finally got them to take the $100 on the condition that they find something to do with the money that would make a difference for others—whether it was at their church, their school, or their community.

Eddie and I were so moved we were still talking about it this morning.  I am going to email their coach, but I wanted you to know in case you are at Southern and see them.  I was so impressed with them and the great character that they showed.

Take care,

Amy Ramage
District Assessment Coordinator
Christian County Public Schools

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