In these difficult times, when people are being killed by terrorists, the word hero has really taken on new meaning. The bar has definitely been raised on who we call hero these days. I guess it would probably be more appropriate to talk of respect in light of the state of heroism.
So, with that said, I want to talk about my great respect for Coach Harben, wrestling coach at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Last week they logged a victory the first one in four years! So Harben would hardly be considered a hero nor even a winning coach. He deserves our respect and certainly a little attention. Coach Harben demands these kids' respect, treating them with respect and I believe he is making a big difference in these kids' lives.
From their first meeting of the season, Coach draws a line in the sand, sets boundries and sticks to them. He may seem a little rigid by todays standard of dealing with youth. He refuses to be addressed as Harben as seems to be the trend in the schools nowadays. "You will call me Coach, Coach Harben or Mr. Harben end of story. If I use strong communication with you wrestlers and you don't like; don't even think of going home and tattling on me to your mothers!"
He makes them circle up and cheer the Screaming Eagles before they hit the gym floor, just like the big guys. They march into the gym in weight-order, outfitted in their singlettes, t-shirt and how about those "We're here to wrestle and win" towels draped around their necks? They take pride in their appearance. They have pride in themselves. Coach Harben maybe a little unorthodox, gruff, rough and harsh, but he is making a difference and I applaude him. Thanks Coach Harben. We love you too. You ARE our hero. Thanks.