A Little Personal…


Being who I am, I tend to avoid many personal items. But I will take a line or two to tip my hat to a young man who I kind of coached, but didn’t. He was in my oldest daughter’s graduating class. Since I made it a point to never work where my kids went to school, Seth Stinton was never on a team I coached, but I worked with him over the years. I recruited him but was too far from home for him so he went to SMU where he started at safety for three years. We talk often, mostly about football. But also about what a young man should be when he leaves the game to begin “his life’s work.” He is the Head Coach and Athletic Director at Melissa High School in Texas, a school that has only had a football program since 2004. In the 11 seasons Seth has been the head coach there they have had 10 playoff teams including a state championship.

I have taken some pride in Seth in the past. But this Friday, September 1, in the home opening game every senior player for Melissa carried an American flag onto the field to the song “God Bless the USA.” I have seen or been aware of most of the highlights in Coach Stinton’s athletic efforts since he was 9 years old. This was better than the afternoon he picked three passes against Texas A&M. This better than the evening he won a state championship. He was a young man who in many ways had to raise himself and he did a pretty good job. And is extending that into the lives of other young men in a way that should remind us of the role competitive sports can and should have in the full development of an active citizen. During a period of time when something that has been a major part of my life has tended to leave me with a feeling of betrayal, this was a fresh breath and a reminder from someone whom I have always had pride in.

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  1. Arahant Member

    God bless him.

    • #1
  2. EODmom Coolidge

    Outstanding. I’d be weeping. Aren’t we blessed to know such people? I’m happy for you. 

    • #2
  3. CACrabtree Coolidge

    EODmom (View Comment):

    Outstanding. I’d be weeping. Aren’t we blessed to know such people? I’m happy for you.

    Exactly.  Seeing that picture reminds me why (this year) my interest in football ends every Friday night at approximately 11:00 PM.  If the colleges clean up their act, I’ll be watching every Saturday afternoon.  As for the Pros, we know they’re a lost cause…

    • #3
  4. Stad Coolidge

    Players holding flags instead of kneeling . . . awesome . . .

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Thank you for this wonderful story, Ole. It touches the heart.

    • #5
  6. PHCheese Inactive

    We can learn so much from amateur sports.

    • #6
  7. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers

    To make sure everyone gets their just dues – I was made aware of a small school in Oklahoma and their game on the same night. Verdigris is a agricultural town on Route 66 which got its name from the river nearby. The captains meeting at mid-field for the coin toss had each team’s representatives carrying American flags. 

    • #7