Reaping rewards from hard work

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Sports Editor

There is a lot to be said about hard work.

Sometimes hard work brings you big rewards like an Area Championship. Just ask the Charles Henderson High School baseball team and they will tell you all about it.

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My first experience at a Charles Henderson baseball practice under coach Steve Garrett was not quite unlike my first experience at a Charles Henderson basketball practice under coach Carl Hollis – rough.

Even though I was only an observer it was easy to see these kids meant business when they stepped out onto the baseball diamond.

No fooling around, no cute remakes or funny stories, these guys were here for one purpose and one purpose only. To perfect their skills before they faced their next opponent.

Personally I wanted to hide in the corner of the dugout because I’m a lazy three-toed sloth compared to these high school kids.

Compounding the will each of the CHHS players showed was coach Garrett, who expects NO LESS than perfection from his players. His hard-nosed approach to preparation and practice might have taken a few of these kids by surprise a year ago when he was named head coach. Now they understand just what he was trying to teach them – there’s a price for winning and usually it’s payed in sweat.

"The first day after football season of my junior year we started running the course which is four miles," senior Jonathan Neeley said. "Nobody had ever experienced anything like that. It was a big turn around for a lot of us. We all stuck with it and now we’re Area Champs."

"I’m definitely a different personality than they have ever encountered," Garrett said. "I’m very hard on them and I expect a lot out of them. Sometimes I get a bad wrap for that, but these guys understand that they are reaping the benefits of it now."

After the 11-1 romp over Carroll Thursday there were smiles on ever face as the team ran it’s laps from foul pole to foul pole. On this day they knew they had done their jobs and the laps weren’t that bad.

No one expected or wanted a break from the after-game workout. They have seen what the daily regiment can accomplish and if setting the all-time record for wins in a season and winning the first Area Championship for your school in 10 years isn’t enough to get you addicted, then something is bad wrong.

"They know I’m going to tell them when they aren’t doing right and I’m going to tell them when they are doing good," Garrett said. "I love these guys and I also get on their tails. I told them that I’m not perfect and I know that. I know I have to work on being more patient and I will with time. If I didn’t have those faults I guess I would be some kind of a coach I guess."