Keith wins with class

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011

In high school football, we often look at the scores on Saturday morning and think the worst of coaches on the winning end when we see a six or seven touchdown deficit.

The first instinct is “he was running up the score to put a little scare in the rest of his schedule.”

As seen at Keith High School Friday night, this is not always the case.

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Head coach Harry Crum and the Bears were up against a losing situation despite clearly being the better team.

The Bears built a 40-point lead by the half. They couldn’t help it. Midway through the first quarter, I noticed a very uneasy look on Crum’s face. It wasn’t the look you would expect from a coach whose team was dominating the opponent in every way imaginable.

He was clearly concerned as he began emptying the bench. At first, I thought his uneasiness was due to his fear of the perception that he was running up the score. But when I talked to him after the game, I was pleasantly surprised by his comments.

Crum wasn’t worried about what people would say about him. He wasn’t concerned about what people would say about his team. He was most concerned about Holy Spirit.

After the game, Crum said he was willing to do whatever it took to keep from demoralizing the players in Titan uniforms because “those are somebody’s children too.”

It was refreshing to hear a high school coach say something like that because it shows that he has a firm grasp on what high school football is all about.

We all want to win. Everyone wants to take home the big trophy at the end of the year and order championship rings. It’s important for high school athletes to have a competitive spirit and want to be the best. It prepares them for life.

Through the years, other high school coaches in the state have not been as forgiving. Many times high school students pay for a personal grudge between coaches or fall in the middle of a disagreement that happened when the coaches were not even at the same schools. Crum handled Friday night’s situation as well as he could.

He got experience for some who rarely see the field and Holy Spirit left the field  with their heads a little higher.

He coached like a winner.