May 18, 2011
Dare to Dream It; Work to Achieve It!
So, before I tell you about our State Track Meet, let me cut to the chase and tell the big news- WE ARE GETTING THE TRACK FIXED! Yep, a two year battle/challenge/project, whatever you want to call it has come to a close. Here's the nitty gritty of it.
Our county requires us to "apply" for fundraising projects, meaning we have to get board approval before raising funds. I know they are just dotting "i"s and crossing "t"s, but I think this is a complete waste of time. Not to mention the form is pretty lengthy. Well, Run for the Eagles Benefit is approaching and the Blueberry Chase 5K, so I had to do forms for both of those. The night before I had had a discussion w/ my mom about how I felt like it would never get fixed, either b/c we would never have the money or the Bubba AD would never make it happen. Her words, "Honey, sometimes you just have to put the bees in the bonnet." So, the next day, that's what I did. Not only did I fill out the required forms, but I added a detailed letter about how hard our team has worked and how little support we had gotten from the administration. Along with that I attached a spreadsheet. That spreadsheet illustrated the inequalities in funding, coaching supplements, and coaching staff among our school's sports. I also had this broken down by gender, highlighting specific violations of Title IX. And... that is how the poopie hit the fan.
The next day the AD called. He wanted to meet with me. Long story short, I really angered him. He yelled at me for about 5 minutes; I cried for about 10. I tried to explain the Eagles situation, and he interrupted enough times to shut me up. He basically told me that I was on the chopping block b/c I was not a "team player" and didn't support "other sports and coaches." Before I left I took a deep breath and told him this- I supported Eagles football when NO ONE else did. I stood by my husband while his team got their butts beat week after week. I drove miles and miles to watch them play, and stood by him while the so-called fans dog cussed him to his face. I even supported the Eagles and him when he cheated on me and the whole town was against him. He job was in jeopardy and I still stayed. It wasn't until I realized the cheating had never stopped and the entire coaching staff knew about it that I quit supporting Eagle football. And no, I would NOT support them, EVER again. If he needed someone to do that, well, sorry, wrong girl. Then I walked out. It was the hardest, yet most liberating thing I think I have ever done. He even came out after me and screamed, "You are NOT irreplaceable, Coach!"
He's right; I'm not. It was however, well due time for me to stand up for myself. And for my team. This all happened BEFORE the State Track Meet. I was a little worried about Sectionals this year b/c they took 5 sections and redesigned them into 4, meaning we competed against more schools for fewer spots at the State Meet. I found out later that the AHSAA decided to condense the State Meet in attempt to make it run more smoothly. To my surprise, we were able to take some athletes to the State Meet for the 2nd year.
BUT... they had scheduled a little band trip for the weekend of State Meet, meaning that 4 out of 8 athletes that qualified couldn't even GO. Because of the small group, we decided to not spend the night and to share a bus with a nearby schools, saving us $400 in gas. In regards to State, I am always super proud of the kids when we go to large track meets. It is so out of their element. Yet they always handle themselves well and rise to the occasion. Nerves, unfortunately, hit us hard. We only had one PR for the weekend, and that was my Crazy Hurdler Boy (from last year) that made it to the finals, and then placed 6th.
That's how the season ended- very proud of our accomplishments. We had more podium placements at track meets than last year. We also had LOTS of PRs. I also feel like the athletes and I are becoming close, like family. Yes, we have SOOOOO many issues. That's just kind of with the territory. It is so special to me that way these kids deal with adversity. Something to be said for that.
Back to the track repair. The AD didn't even come congratulate or check on our results from the State Track Meet. He had a meeting w/ Coach H and asked Coach H what he thought of me and if I was a good head coach, FOR A WOMAN. There was still no word from him. Then last week I was teaching reading and the secretary came on the intercom and said that the AD was on his way to my room. I was thinking to myself that this was it- I was about to get the ax. I started sweating and near crying at just the thought of it. He walked in and without much small talk, asked to see my financial statement for the track account. (These are printed monthly.) I showed him our current statement and he finally asked out the kids' meet. He seemed nice enough, not angry in the least. He told me good job and even laughed, saying I was "Coach of the Year." (Sidenote: I think this *might* have been slightly sarcastic, or a joke about the current suckiness of the other sports. Not sure.) Then he left. Hmmmm....
Two nights later, REALLY late, the phone rang and it was him. Something struck me as weird about him calling that late. So, once I again, I thought I was getting fired. Here's the convo:
Him: Your track will be fixed by June 30th.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
Him: Yes, it will take all your money, though.
Me: Oh my gosh, that's awesome!
Him: So, you still need to fund raise.
Me: Okay.Okay.Okay, whatever it takes. (High-pitched, near squeal)
Him: So, we'll be in touch soon, okay?
Me: Oh my gosh, thank you, thank you, thank you....
And there you have it. The job will be "officially" approved at the board meeting tonight.
Sometimes you just have to put some bees in the bonnet. Next post will be about our FABULOUS upcoming fundraisers OR my upcoming ULTRA- eeeek!