NCHS Basketball Team
By: Kevin Shannahan
The Natchitoches Central High School basketball team is now the 2016 Louisiana High School Class 5-A champions. This well earned victory culminated a truly remarkable season and a long line of playoff appearances. The team has every right to be proud of their trophy, but it is only part of the story. The game is not only about the scoreboard.
Coach Coleman and the NCHS basketball team personify everything that is right and good about high school athletics and small town life. Discipline, hard work, dignity, facing adversity and defeat head on and accepting victory with grace and modesty – the Chiefs embody old fashioned virtues in a world in which they are desperately needed and increasingly rare. These qualities are the virtues that build men.
I have been to several playoff games and any number of regular season games over the years. I have never, not once, seen Coach Coleman out of control, swearing, or being anything other than a good example of what a father, husband, teacher, coach – a man – should be.
This stuff matters. How many times do we read in the news about a college athlete who gets in trouble with the law? How many young men have their lives stunted because they were nothing to their teachers and coaches but a player, only to be forgotten when age, injury or academics leave them unable to play anymore and ill equipped for life off the court or field?
The NCHS coaching staff have their priorities in order. They are using sports as a tool to build young men. Twenty years from now, the trophies will be treasured memories alongside their lives as fathers, husbands and citizens, enriched by their tenure as players. Their trophies will not be a sad reminder of a stunted life that stalled out after the last buzzer. Well done gentlemen!