For those of you who follow me on social media, I am sure you have heard me say how blessed I am in this job. That still holds true and I don’t foresee that stance changing anytime soon. The main reason is because of the uber talented student-athletes I get to be around on a daily basis. Friendships formed with readers and area sports fans rank high on the list as well.
But a close second — to the kids — are the coaches. And we have some of the absolute best in the business. I was reminded of this once again just a few days ago.
I was driving home from the office Wednesday night when I received a message from a friend in Linton. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe someone in Linton likes me.
Anyway … the message reads, “Much respect to Coach Caton”.
I saw the Sullivan football coach earlier in the day at the school, but didn’t know of anything out of the ordinary.
Come to find out, Caton decided to purchase dinner (pizza) for the Linton-Stockton basketball team.
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week, you know what has been going on over in Greene County with the Miners’ talented basketball team.
I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but I would say a good majority of the L-S hoopsters are also football players. And we all know about the rivalry on the gridiron between the two teams. Yes, every sport is a rivalry between Sullivan and Linton-Stockton, but there’s no comparison to the football rivalry.
With that being said, Caton showed his true colors by setting aside the rivalry with the gesture in a great time of need for the Miner student-athletes.
Saying the week was an emotional one for Linton would be a monumental understatement. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that others are thinking of you and are there for a simple “pick-me-up”, even if it comes from a heated rival. And let’s face it, at the end of the day kids are the ones that matter the most. People can cast judgment and take to social media to blast adults for making selfish mistakes, but the kids don’t go around wearing blinders and earmuffs. They see and hear these things and it just adds to an already difficult task.
As I am sure most know by now, Linton-Stockton went on to win two games on Saturday to claim the Class 2A Southport Semstate. With the talent on that team, including the best player on the court, I am sure the Miners would have won without the kind gesture by Coach Caton earlier in the week.
But without a doubt, the gesture helped the team escape from the cruelty of the world, if even for a brief moment. It also showed what real leadership looks like and that rivals can come together, just as the Linton baseball team showed last spring to the Sullivan community.
Now I am not naive to think that all of Sullivan was pulling for the Miners this weekend. And not all Miner fans accepted the support from the Sullivan community or other rivals, for that matter.
We don’t live in a perfect world, far from it and really it gets worse by the day. But again, for one moment, one coach showed what this game of life really should be about, whether he wanted to be recognized for it or not.
Great job, Coach Caton!
And also congrats to the Linton-Stockton basketball team for taking care of business.
Best of luck to the Miners in Indy on Saturday!
TRAVIS DAVID is the sports editor of the Daily Times and can be reached via email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tdavid_SDT.
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