This week I took notice of something while I was covering both the Houston Softball and football teams. This school has some of the most tenacious players that I have ever seen. They are never down and out until the final minute of the game. They are never ones to hang their head in shame after a bad play. On Friday I saw guys rallying the crowd after a punt. The offense was rallying for the defense and vice versa. It would not matter if they were down one point or 100, they were going to cheer.
Same goes for the softball team. While they only lost the first game of a three game series, you would have thought they won the pennant every time one of them was at bat. The dugout was loud and having the time of their lives. Playing drum beats on the celing with softballs, or using plastic hand clappers to cheer on their team, these girls knew how to rally. In fact one of their chants was just saying the word “rally” faster and faster until it was an unintelligible scream of pure joy.
This city must have something strange in the water because I have never seen a team do anything similar to what I have seen this year in Houston. I think this comes from the coaches because I have seen both Coach Ty Hardin and Derick Kirby rally their teams in supremely interesting ways. Coach Hardin is a loud, jumping up and down coach. But, he has a respect for his players that is reciprocated right back to him by his players. Same goes for Coach Kirby and his girls. They listen to him because he has earned it from them. I saw no screaming anger from either coach because they know that their players respond better to respect.
I am so glad to have met these gentlemen and their teams because they have shown me that respect, instead of screaming bloody murder, can win ballgames. Congratulations coaches on the phenomenal year, and here’s hoping for more.