Article Comment 

Hundreds turn out to support New Hope coach

 

Adam Minichino

 

Lance White didn’t expect to be in Columbus on Wednesday night. 

 

But when he heard what was happening to one of his former baseball coaches, he decided he couldn’t afford not to be in town. 

 

The former member of the New Hope High School baseball team (1994-97) was in Columbus on Wednesday night along with more than 200 others to show their support at Trojan Field for embattled NHHS baseball coach Stacy Hester. 

 

The veteran baseball coach said Friday he was told by Lowndes County School District Superintendent Mike Halford that the Lowndes County School District Board appears ready to deliver a 5-0 vote that he not return as New Hope’s coach.  

 

Hester said Halford told him he wouldn’t recommend he be retained based on that expected vote. 

 

The school board could vote June 12 at its next scheduled meeting to determine Hester’s fate. 

 

According to a sheet at the entrance to Trojan Field, 224 people signed in to listen to Hester speak and to hear the thoughts of several other people. 

 

Hester, who has won 551 games and three state titles in 18 years as coach at New Hope, opened the meeting at 8:15 p.m. and spoke for 13 minutes. He thanked everyone “from the bottom of my heart” for showing up to support him and said all he has tried to do in his time as a coach is to instill discipline in kids and teach them how to do things the right way. He said he never has tried to be a coach who caters to the wishes of parents, which he admitted could be part of the reason why he is embroiled in this controversy. 

 

“Winning is fun, but it is so important to see kids come through your program and to act right and to become good citizens and good people. That is what I get excited about. Seeing all of these people come out here has been a blessing for me. Like I told them, I can always take this night and my players and what we have done in the past 18 years and be proud of it because in my heart I know what I have done. 

 

“If my time has passed because I am old school, I can live with it. I want to be here to coach, but if it works out that I am not, I can’t apologize for anything I have done. I hate that I have been tough on kids, but, then again, deep down, I know what my intentions were. It seems like nowadays sometimes your intentions are never even looked at. It is like people are going to judge you on what they hear, not what they actually see.” 

 

White, Chris Herring, who played at New Hope High from 1991-92, Jeff Hunter (1994-97), and Shane Bazzell (1993-98) were just some of the former players and people who spoke in support of Hester. 

 

The former players said Hester was demanding and that they even hated him at times in their high school careers. But each one said that the lessons they have learned from Hester have made them better people. 

 

Herring, who spoke Saturday morning to The Dispatch with his brother, Kenny Tice, followed Hester and said the situation is bringing the community closer together, not pulling it apart. He said he supports what Hester has done as coach at New Hope High and that the school would “lose a big part of this community” if Hester is not retained. 

 

He said Hester is guilty of being a disciplinarian and has hurt the feelings of players, including his, but he said Hester always got the best out of him and taught him valuable lessons.  

 

Herring also encouraged the people at the meeting to call or to write letters to Halford and to the school members to let them know how they felt. 

 

“I can’t control how the board members are going to vote, but Mike Halford is a Trojan and he is going to do what is right,” Herring said. 

 

White, who lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was working in Arkansas and had planned to be in Columbus later this week. But he decided to change his schedule and his route after hearing of the apparent momentum against Hester so he could be in town to show his support of his former coach. 

 

“I, like many other kids, when I came into this program I was headed in the wrong direction,” White said. “The first two and a half years I was here I didn’t like Stacy Hester any more than anybody else that says that they do not like him. Either it was a point of maturity, or if it took that long to sink in, halfway through our 1996 season, I began to realize I was part of something special and I bought in. I gained more in that last half of that year and the next year than I had in the first two and a half simply because I was open to what he was doing.” 

 

White said every person who is part of the New Hope High program puts in “blood, sweat, and tears” to make it one of the best in the nation. He said he is proud to be a part of such a tradition-rich program and that it would be a “grave mistake” if people overlooked all of the good things that have happened and based their decisions on the negative things. 

 

“I wasn’t surprised (when he first heard the talk against Hester),” White said. “There have been voices that have tried to do that every year he has been here. There is always a disgruntled member of the community or a disgruntled parent, but there can’t be but nine guys play, 10 with a designated hitter. There always are people that are unhappy, but a coach that has never made an enemy is probably an ineffective coach.” 

 

Hunter, who also played baseball at Mississippi State and owns AdvantEdge Sports, a multi-sport training and exercise facility in Tupelo, doesn’t like how politics have become such a big part of every sport. He said he has vowed never to be a high school coach because he would follow Hester’s principles and play the best players and not cater to the wishes or pressures from parents or fans. 

 

Hunter said people should look at the complex Hester has helped build and see all of the signs of accomplishment on the outfield wall and remember all of the good things he has done in 18 years. 

 

“Who are you going to find to coach a better high school baseball program? Nobody,” Hunter said. “If he leaves, New Hope will be off the map.” 

 

Hunter works with youth baseball players on a travel team and at his training facility. He said baseball has changed in recent years in that so many families pay to have their son play on travel teams. He said those families might get a false impression of their son(s) because they get a lot of recognition and many times have coached their children. 

 

As a result, parents and players experience a change when they leave that comfort zone. 

 

Hunter said Hester provides an environment that prepares players for college baseball and for life after sports. 

 

“You can take baseball and relate it to almost everything in life,” Hunter said. “I learned here that when running foul poles that if every person doesn’t touch that line, you won’t win. You have to have everyone running the same distance. If you come this close (holding his hand several inches away from an imaginary line), or you will come this close to the championship.” 

 

Hester reiterated he would welcome a “plan of improvement” from Halford or the school board. He said he would look at those guidelines and change his ways if they were things he could agree to. 

 

Hester won’t be in town next month to attend the board meeting. He will be in Oklahoma the second week of June as coach of the Mississippi team of all-stars that will compete in the Junior Sun Belt Classic. He doesn’t feel his absence from the school board meeting June 12 will hurt his case because he only can ask to be heard and to tell his side of the story and explain any actions people might find disagreeable. 

 

“I have made mistakes. Everybody does,” Hester said. “Are there things I would go back and change? Sure I would. But I am not going to change the fact that I have tried to make kids do the right things and make them accountable. 

 

“I am overwhelmed by the amount of support, and I thank them for that. I wish people would be open minded about my future and know that I have every good intention. Sometimes it doesn’t come across that way, but I can’t apologize for putting a good product

 

Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Trojans#1 commented at 5/28/2009 1:29:00 PM:

WAY TO GO NEW HOPE for supporting such an awesome coach!!!! I hope Mike Halford does what he knows is right!!

 

Article Comment Brenda Flanagan commented at 5/28/2009 3:00:00 PM:

I have had the honor of knowing Coach Hester and his family for many years. I can only say that Coach Hester is the type of coach our kids need! We, as parents, spend more time "coddling" our kids then we do teaching them about the real world! Coach Hester is a man who loves his family and loves the sport of baseball. If New Hope lets this man go, you will lose an outstanding man with an impeccable record and one who loves his community.Is anyone aware of how hard it is to find great teachers and coaches? Parents stay on the other side of the fence and let this man do his job!

 

Article Comment Martha Lester commented at 5/28/2009 5:00:00 PM:

Stacy Hester is an awesome man and has a very loving spirit & so does his family. New Hope will lose an OUTSTANDING MAN if they lose him. Parents need to let coaches do there job and support coaches instead of trying to do the coaches job.

 

Article Comment hk commented at 5/28/2009 5:08:00 PM:

Just think--I can not think of anyone wanting to take over this baseball program--one mistake and the pit bulls are unleashed on you.. if he goes--who in the world will take the job.. so many that are not forgiving..

 

Article Comment Former player commented at 5/28/2009 6:43:00 PM:

Coach Hester, don't change your way of coaching. If some of these idiot parents want their kids to be pampered then let them go somewhere else. We are raising a generation of wimps.

 

Article Comment Bad Things commented at 5/28/2009 6:50:00 PM:

Did any of the kids come out that have been cussed by this "fine" man?

 

Article Comment Another Former Player commented at 5/28/2009 6:58:00 PM:

Obviously you never played a sport in your life. Getting your "a**" chewed out is a part of high school sports. It makes you tougher. No wonder your son never got to play because he is probably as soft as double-ply toilet paper.

And to answer your question, Yes there were plenty of former players in attendance.

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/28/2009 10:35:00 PM:

How many current players were there?

 

Article Comment CONCERNED FAN commented at 5/28/2009 10:37:00 PM:

NO THERE WERE ONLY 2 VARISTY PLAYERS WE ALL KNOW WHO 1 WAS. HE WAS ON T.V. DID ANYONE NOTICE HE SAID THE COACH DID WHAT HE DID AND NOW HE HAS PAID. OOPS PHILLIP REMEMBER THE COACH DIDN'T DO ANYTHING OR HAS THE STORY CHANGED AGAIN?
SO EVERYONE NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATHE AND WAIT UNTIL THE BOARD CAN TELL US THE FACTS OF THIS. REMEMBER THEY HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF MS. OR DO WE WANT THEM TO THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW? AS OTHERS OR DOING??? DON'T FORGOT IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE HONEST FACTS THEN REMEMBER ELECTION TIME. OTHERWISE, GET BEHIND THEM AND RE-ELECT THEM. I SURE WILL BE GLAD WHEN WE CAN GET THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW. THIS DISPATCH IS IN LOVE WITH HESTER. NOT VERY GOOD JOURNALISM TO MY WAY OF THINKING.

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/28/2009 11:24:00 PM:

Only 2? That goes to show you right there. If the players wanted him, they would have been there.

 

Article Comment slo commented at 5/28/2009 11:44:00 PM:

You people are crazy! He admitted he made a mistake with phillip and like a man appologized to him and his family and that should be it! If you held everything every person did over there head no one would have a job!

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/29/2009 12:11:00 AM:

Slo...why were only two players at the meeting?

 

Article Comment Parent commented at 5/29/2009 12:17:00 AM:

Well since we received a text that said not to bring the kids because the meeting was for parents only.........I am sure that is why many kids like mine were not there.

It just shows the "class" or lack there of the people that hate him so much. I am actually ashamed that I actually considered some of these people friends. Classless individuals that unfortunately set terrible examples for their kids.

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/29/2009 12:23:00 AM:

If a coach I wanted was on the verge of being canned, I would have been there. Nothing would have kept me from it. Isn't it about the kids? Why keep the only ones that matter away? But wait, it's not about the kids on that team.

 

Article Comment interested commented at 5/29/2009 1:00:00 AM:

If this coach has been warned and spoken with about his lack of control, why hasn't he been able to change. Was he not worried that his behavior could cost him his job. Deep seeded anger and rage? Whew! Needs some help. Either you can control yourself or you can't. Does he have a medical condition that could be contributing his behavior? Maybe some trauma from the past?

 

Article Comment Former Player commented at 5/29/2009 1:02:00 AM:

yea dude he is gonna get canned man!!! awesome dude!

I know you are a kid, but New Hope did very little for the depth of your vocabulary. You do realize that you have used "canned" in almost every post. Obviously baseball was not your strength, so maybe you should have worked a little harder on your academics.

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/29/2009 1:23:00 AM:

And an awesome comeback from Former Player

 

Article Comment Former Player 2 commented at 5/29/2009 2:11:00 AM:

Sam I Am: I go back and think when I was 17 and playing for coach if I would have been at that meeting. My honest answer is probably not. You know why? Because I was too immature to realize what he was trying to accomplish with me as a player and as a young man. You may not know this, but as you get older, most of us become more mature. We realize the mistakes we made in the past and you look back and think, damn, he was trying his hardest to get me to do the right thing but no, I was a sh**head. Thank you for doing that for us coach. Now please come back on here and make another smart a** comment of why you hate coach and how you can't wait until he is "canned." Maybe come up with something a little different. I do have one question for you? Did you ever play at New Hope? When I say play, I meant playing time, not put on the uniform and show up and look all cute then rub some dirt on your knees, you know where I'm going with this. Can't wait to hear from you!

 

Article Comment Former Player 2 commented at 5/29/2009 2:39:00 AM:

Sam the Man: That question was directed towards you but I didn't want to let you off easy though, maybe it was one of your kids who followed in the old mans footsteps..to the bench of course. I know it is aggravating as hell to donate all that money and it still couldn't buy him at least one at bat. I feel your pain on that big time bro. I'm trying to figure out why all the hostility. You know the big dog don't show favoritism. Maybe it wasn't money, what was it? Please Inform us all. And don't come back with he is an a**hole, he is strict, he treats people like crap,etc.....there have been over 200 post on these articles, let us hear something original from the one and only SAM I AM!!!! Im Bareback Onyomama and I approve this message!!!!

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/29/2009 9:44:00 AM:

The only one with hostility is you, Former Player 2. You are the one using profanity in your posts. In your post, you give the kids a pass because they are immature. Yet, in another supporter's post, they are saying that the kids are grown and should be able to handle this crap. Which is it? Seems like a fun experience with high school baseball....hate it while your doing it, but you'll appreciate it later. By the way, there's a chance I was better than you at the game.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 10:18:00 AM:

First of all, this story has "nothing" to do with the facts. I have no clue what Coach Hester did. It's cool to hear about this overwhelming swell of support, but no one is dealing w/ the specifics of his actions.

Second, these former players sound like Hitler Youth. The Key is you are a "former player" & let those H.S. dreams go, it's over. Blindly sacrificing your adolescence innocence is your parent's fault. They probably should have been more vocal & protected you. I admire this man made a difference in your life but you should keep it as that, your life. What is good for you obviously seems like it's not good for others. People have a right to voice objection.

Next, 5-0 votes of "no confidence" are convincing. It seems that more is there obviously than this story states which means legal action could be on the way and the Lowndes County School District Board sees & knows this dude is bad news & wants to wash their hands of him. Reading the comments of former player makes it obvious that Hester did pass down something.

Arrogance, stubbornness, belligerence & no respect for due process.

Yeah, it's time for him to move on.

 

Article Comment br commented at 5/29/2009 11:05:00 AM:

to D. Matt, former players are adults who have had the opportunity to see the effect of this coach's influence on their development. All of us have had teachers, coaches, bosses who've been hard asses that turned us into better people. If you can't say the same then maybe you're the one still stuck in the high school mindset of thinking you know everything.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 11:55:00 AM:

BR,

there's a difference between being a hard @$$ & putting your hands on a child, period.

A H.S. Coach are expected to have tact when under pressure.

Defending Bud Kilmer's actions is ludicrious.

The School Board isn't stupid & know this is a "TIME BOMB" and are doing the right thing to reduce their liability in case of a legal action that will inevitably happen, it's only a matter of time with Kilmer. If he's done it once, he'll do it again & the next time someone will sue.

Unlike most in the New Hope Community, some people do not like a coach's hand around their child's next in the name of "Hard @$$ discipline."

I'll be honest & say I am an outsider, but that being said for a community to defend this is a little disturbing.

PLUS, he's admitted to doing it too!

 

Article Comment outsider commented at 5/29/2009 12:24:00 PM:

WAIT!!! If Coach has been Sooo BAD why now? It has been 18 years. The MAN has devoted his life to NH Baseball and made it a successful program. It sounds like a few supposedly top dogs didn't get their way and they think their money can buy what they want. Good Luck. Oh, and Sam I Am, it is obvious that you have such hard on for Coach Hester. Never observed someone with such a hard heart. You need to be careful because there is someone who knows who you really are and you will have to answer for this hatred that you have for this Man.

 

Article Comment Former Player 3 commented at 5/29/2009 1:07:00 PM:

D.Matt

Please do not come onto this board and degrade "former players" for supporting their COACH. I am sure if we were being hostile against the man that you would probably commend us for speaking out. The FACTS are that coach Hester taught us a lot about responsibility and being a man. (sacrificing adolescence innocence........so poetic.......but COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS, do you know any teenagers). I have yet to read a negative post from a former player, they seem to all be from disgruntled parents.

No respect for due process? Why don't you go read up on the Mississippi Open Meeting Law which apply to school boards. Actually there should never have been a "straw poll" on this matter. The insults at the end of your post should be more appropriately targeted at the parents from New Hope that continue to conduct themselves like children on this message board.

 

Article Comment MyTwoCents commented at 5/29/2009 2:05:00 PM:

D. Matt, I am also an outsider and don't have a dog in the hunt. However, I feel compelled to respond to your confusing post. You almost immediately state that you don't have a clue what Coach Hester did, then by the end of your post, you have fabricated enough facts to say "Yeah, it's time for him to move on". Very confusing how you reached this conclusion. I,too,know nothing more than what I've read, but I know one thing for sure. The good people of New Hope are more than capable of handling their business without input from outsiders who have nothing better to do than mind other people's business. Just my two cents.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 2:10:00 PM:

FP3,

It's obvious that winning helps you tolerate things a lil' better...
BUT...
You can only put up with that behavior for so long.

I'm happy to see former players support their coach, but I just hate when one of the FP( I think it was FP2) berates someone for speaking their opinion on this forum.

Mississippi Open Meeting Laws were not violated. None of the School Board Members have spoken on record to the contrary, so, what is said, is innuendo & if it is proven true, Coach Kilmer violated a "heads up" conversation between him & the Superintendent. I'm pretty sure the Superintendent will not be supportive of Hester now.
Also, Parents pay taxes and vote and have reason to voice their concern even if it is petty about teachers & coaches who's tax dollars are used to pay their salaries. This is obviously not problem than it seems because it's going to be a GRAND SLAM "supposedly" 12 June.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 2:25:00 PM:

MyTwoCents

Good catch, I re-read the articles and read different articles where the facts are never stated about why they are going to fire Coach Kilmer & I noticed he put hands on a kid which "now" in society is not called for & will not be tolerated for whatever reason.

I just hate the fact that people who speak out against Coach Kilmer are being ridicule for their comments.

The good people of New Hope elected School Board Members who will do what's in the best interest of the school, not the people. Which usually contradicts things at time.

Remember, the best interests of the school isn't always necessarily what the people think or is what's best at that time.

Finally, this is an open forum, regardless, of your opinion I am entitled to voice my concern (as are you) as long as I respect other's opinions and words.

If you were really following your own words then why comment about my comments?
Why do you even read this article?
That's just my two cents.

 

Article Comment FP3 commented at 5/29/2009 2:36:00 PM:

The funny thing is though, you are only concerned when someone is berating a person with your same view. You sure do not seem to care that throughout these posts that "innuendo" and "hearsay" have been used against Hester (Kilmer, since you are not familiar with the program it is nice to see you address the situation in such an unbiased manner).

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 2:37:00 PM:

LAST COMMENTS:

Question, Have any of you seen the movie, Varsity Blues? If I didn't know any better this is the same story playing out in New Hope, MS.

I do not have any ill will towards Coach Hester & commend him for sacrificing his time & effort into molding New Hope Baseball into a NE Regional Power.

People think Coach Hester (e.g. Coach Kilmer) is bigger than New Hope Baseball. I don't know his age or care to know it but it looks like "over time" so have grown weary of his antics.

In 2009, an authority figure should not put his hands on a child with or w/o parent's consent regardless for the reason. This puts under liability on the School & the city of New Hope. Coach Hester said he did it & should "act like a man" & reap the consequences of his actions.

Once your reputation & credibility are tarnish, what are you as a man?

Coach Hester should have gotten a lawyer and said absolutely nothing and let his lawyer do the talking so he could have some recourse in any action(s) taken.

If New Hope Baseball is what it is, it "should" survive & still thrive under new management.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 2:45:00 PM:

FP3,
You're right on that!
I feel someone has to protect the minority view whether it's right or wrong.
The Kilmer thing is too much but I'm making light of the subject and satirizing it to hopefully enlighten people.
Guess it's not working, huh?

 

Article Comment FP3 commented at 5/29/2009 3:04:00 PM:

I understand that you were making light of the situation and if it was directed toward another coach in the state (say Boatner) I would have probably thought it was funny. Honestly, I feel like you are actually protecting the majority that come on this message board. They use this board to simply sling accusations and hearsay about a person that the simply do not like.

Coach Hester is a good christian man. He does not drink or smoke but he is a disciplinarian. He will let you know when you are in the wrong and that is where most of the dislike arises. Like I have said before, he taught me a lot about responsibility and hard work. I appreciate everything he did for me and he instilled a work ethic that I still use everyday.

 

Article Comment Sam I Am commented at 5/29/2009 3:33:00 PM:

Still...only a couple of current players showed up to the meeting. That is a big statement. I think that shows what the kids want.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 3:40:00 PM:

FP3,

You're reasonable & I commend you. That being said, "Why would you (if you were Hester) stay in a situation like this?"

You can only do things for the kids "SO MUCH."

He needs to realize when it's time to go.

 

Article Comment LT commented at 5/29/2009 3:46:00 PM:

I hate to tell you but the seniors from this year are now "former players." There were a lot of 8th, 9th, and 10th grade players there and their parents were the most vocal in support. Your calculation of what parents want is skewed. Some of the parents of current players that I talked to did want to be there but did not want to feel the WRATH of a particular parent (who is ruthless). We (parents of younger players) support Coach Hester. We want him there to coach our kids, so your "current players" statement is not really of big statement.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 3:52:00 PM:

FP3,

You're reasonable & I commend you. That being said, "Why would you (if you were Hester) stay in a situation like this?"

You can only do things for the kids "SO MUCH."

He needs to realize when it's time to go.

 

Article Comment FP3 commented at 5/29/2009 3:55:00 PM:

D.Matt,

I agree totally with that statement. He should go after the Oak Grove job in my opinion(which is a much better job). I do think it would be hard to leave when you have been somewhere 18 years and built a nice program though. He has done a lot with the talent in our community (we have never produced very many "studs" but we always produce nice fundamentally sound players). He puts up with a lot of "crap" from people that honestly just do not like him. I certainly do not think I would put up with this stuff over and over.

 

Article Comment FP3 commented at 5/29/2009 4:11:00 PM:

I forgot to say: It should be his choice though....he should not be forced out by a few parents (one of which...her husband is president of the school board.....I think that is a major conflict of interest)

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 4:14:00 PM:

FP3,

You're reasonable & I commend you. That being said, "Why would you (if you were Hester) stay in a situation like this?"

You can only do things for the kids "SO MUCH."

He needs to realize when it's time to go.

 

Article Comment Louis Johnson commented at 5/29/2009 4:53:00 PM:

Anyone can make comments good or bad and use a screen name or some other way to hide your true identity. As you see my name know this. I am 100% behind the coach and don't have to hide.

 

Article Comment D.Matt commented at 5/29/2009 4:56:00 PM:

FP3,

You're reasonable & I commend you. That being said, "Why would you (if you were Hester) stay in a situation like this?"

You can only do things for the kids "SO MUCH."

He needs to realize when it's time to go.

 

Article Comment Former Player 2 commented at 5/29/2009 6:00:00 PM:

Sam I am your post are still irrelevant. And by the way, you couldn't have held my jock!

 

Article Comment Jamie Sullivan commented at 5/30/2009 1:11:00 AM:

I think its utterly ridiculous for coach Hester being treated the way he is now. I think he should be commended for the way he's stepped to the parents and ran a successful New Hope program. Maybe if New Hope basketball coach, Tim Vaughan, had stepped up he'd still been at New Hope instead of assistant at Columbus. That's the problem in our world today. No one wants to stand for what's right. I never got the opportunity to play for coach Hester due to excelling in golf, but I have always respected him as a person. People say he throws fits and tantrums. Speaking from a high school umpires' perceptive, Hesters' fits and tantrums are mild compared to others. I'm a firm believer in allowing trained professionals practice in their respective profession. You don't see coach Hester telling nurses how to give shots, so why should a nurse call the shots on the diamond? Finally in closing, to the haters on this blog page... Why are ya'll bashing Hester? Maybe is it because your jealous of the program he's built? Or is it that you wish your kid was good enough to play for him, but he wasn't? Maybe you wish you were as good of a coach as Hester is... I don't know, but I wish ya'll would get off the blood trail and support the man. I know the man has PRIDE, and a ton of it. When this is over and he's retained at New Hope, I can promise you as Tim Tebow promised the nation after the 31-30 upset to Ole Miss, he'll work and coach harder than he ever has, just to break it off in those Hester HATERS!

Supporting Hester,

Jamie Sullivan
NHHS Class of '00

 

Article Comment Excellent Parent commented at 5/30/2009 11:08:00 AM:


The parents supporting Hester here probably have these character traits. They:

1. Cuss their children
2. Threaten their children
3. Whip their children
4. Physically push around their children
5. Tell their children it is done to make them stronger
6. Tell their children it is "just the way I am"

And when they do all this they explain it away...just like men that beat their wives.

 

Article Comment What? commented at 5/30/2009 11:45:00 AM:

Excellent Parent,

That is the most ridiculous thing that I have seen throughout this entire ordeal. People that think like you are the reason we have to deal with school shootings and other obsurd actions that teenagers perform these days. To accuse people of abusing children just because they support a baseball coach makes you and the others that agree with you look so ignorant that the fence riders will probably get behind him staying. I personally couldn't care what happens to Hester in the end but I am offended because I have whipped my child. I have never done any of the other things on your moronic list however. What has happened to our community? Outrageous!

 

Article Comment frankiebird commented at 5/30/2009 11:48:00 AM:

I have lived in Columbus for over 30 years. My husband is from Columbus and we have 3 children - 1 college graduate, 1 in college and 1 in highschool. I can probably count the times I have been to the New Hope Community on 2 hands. So just to set the record straight, I am not from New Hope and I know very few people from New Hope. For years I have heard that New Hope has had a wonderful public school. Supposedly a great attractor for new families. Same word on the street about New Hope Baseball. Things were good there too. Very successful program coached by Stacy Hester.
Great school, great baseball program, great baseball coach. I am certain there are other good things going on there, but those are the 3 things I have always heard about. As I indicated earlier in blog, I am an outsider looking from afar and up until the last several years I have always heard positive comments about your school.
Well, obviously times have changed. Prior to this baseball incident, the street talk (on my side of town) is that there are lots of problems at New Hope with the student population in general and also murmmerings on the street about the base ball program.

Nothing stays the same, everyday is a new day and obviously your school, students, and families are changing and sounds like in the wrong direction. I think the parents (on both sides of this issue) need to set examples for their children and also present yourselves in a respectul way to the entire Columbus and Lowndes County Community. The comments that are being posted are attacts not only on the baseball program, the baseball coach, but also on each other. Ya'll are not obviously 1 big happy family and in my opinion your behavior and comments are inappropriate. I am glad that our newspaper is a local one and hopefully there are not many online readers throughout our state. *&!#'s in many comments. That shows how small you really are. Tempers flaring! WOW! Supposedly an out of control person is what started this whole situation.
There are always hirings, firings, disciplinary actions concerning students, board decisions, etc at schools that are not supported 100% by all parents. There are always many varied and differing opinions about issues. We would live in a perfect world if we all thought alike, but we don't. But the New Hope Community needs to accept your differences in opinions and RESPECT each other.
No coach, teacher, principal, etc is guaranteed to never be terminated or replaced. As a matter of fact, especially in the coaching field, you expect it sooner of later. What if Coach Hester's contract in not renewed? If he has such a wonderful reputation on and off the field, he will be overwhelmed with offers from other schools. He and his family may not want to relocate, but working Americans are losing jobs and relocating every day in this horrible economy. No one has 100% job security when you are an employee for a business. I assume he and his family are very happy here and do not want this posssible change in their lives, and I can understand that and my heart goes out to them, but I have always been a believer that good can come from bad. This is a bad and unfortunate situation, and the New Hope Community's behavior has been horrific.
And to the annonymous bloggers - I read the online issues of the Clarion Ledger and Commercial Appeal and you are in the majority! Most bloggers use screen names, regardless of their opinion.

 

Article Comment frankiebird commented at 5/30/2009 12:19:00 PM:

I have lived in Columbus for over 30 years. My husband is from Columbus and we have 3 children - 1 college graduate, 1 in college and 1 in highschool. I can probably count the times I have been to the New Hope Community on 2 hands. So just to set the record straight, I am not from New Hope and I know very few people from New Hope. For years I have heard that New Hope has had a wonderful public school. Supposedly a great attractor for new families. Same word on the street about New Hope Baseball. Things were good there too. Very successful program coached by Stacy Hester.
Great school, great baseball program, great baseball coach. I am certain there are other good things going on there, but those are the 3 things I have always heard about. As I indicated earlier in blog, I am an outsider looking from afar and up until the last several years I have always heard positive comments about your school.
Well, obviously times have changed. Prior to this baseball incident, the street talk (on my side of town) is that there are lots of problems at New Hope with the student population in general and also murmmerings on the street about the base ball program.

Nothing stays the same, everyday is a new day and obviously your school, students, and families are changing and sounds like in the wrong direction. I think the parents (on both sides of this issue) need to set examples for their children and also present yourselves in a respectul way to the entire Columbus and Lowndes County Community. The comments that are being posted are attacts not only on the baseball program, the baseball coach, but also on each other. Ya'll are not obviously 1 big happy family and in my opinion your behavior and comments are inappropriate. I am glad that our newspaper is a local one and hopefully there are not many online readers throughout our state. *&!#'s in many comments. That shows how small you really are. Tempers flaring! WOW! Supposedly an out of control person is what started this whole situation.
There are always hirings, firings, disciplinary actions concerning students, board decisions, etc at schools that are not supported 100% by all parents. There are always many varied and differing opinions about issues. We would live in a perfect world if we all thought alike, but we don't. But the New Hope Community needs to accept your differences in opinions and RESPECT each other.
No coach, teacher, principal, etc is guaranteed to never be terminated or replaced. As a matter of fact, especially in the coaching field, you expect it sooner of later. What if Coach Hester's contract in not renewed? If he has such a wonderful reputation on and off the field, he will be overwhelmed with offers from other schools. He and his family may not want to relocate, but working Americans are losing jobs and relocating every day in this horrible economy. No one has 100% job security when you are an employee for a business. I assume he and his family are very happy here and do not want this posssible change in their lives, and I can understand that and my heart goes out to them, but I have always been a believer that good can come from bad. This is a bad and unfortunate situation, and the New Hope Community's behavior has been horrific.
And to the annonymous bloggers - I read the online issues of the Clarion Ledger and Commercial Appeal and you are in the majority! Most bloggers use screen names, regardless of their opinion.

 

Article Comment frankiebird commented at 5/30/2009 12:20:00 PM:

I have lived in Columbus for over 30 years. My husband is from Columbus and we have 3 children - 1 college graduate, 1 in college and 1 in highschool. I can probably count the times I have been to the New Hope Community on 2 hands. So just to set the record straight, I am not from New Hope and I know very few people from New Hope. For years I have heard that New Hope has had a wonderful public school. Supposedly a great attractor for new families. Same word on the street about New Hope Baseball. Things were good there too. Very successful program coached by Stacy Hester.
Great school, great baseball program, great baseball coach. I am certain there are other good things going on there, but those are the 3 things I have always heard about. As I indicated earlier in blog, I am an outsider looking from afar and up until the last several years I have always heard positive comments about your school.
Well, obviously times have changed. Prior to this baseball incident, the street talk (on my side of town) is that there are lots of problems at New Hope with the student population in general and also murmmerings on the street about the base ball program.

Nothing stays the same, everyday is a new day and obviously your school, students, and families are changing and sounds like in the wrong direction. I think the parents (on both sides of this issue) need to set examples for their children and also present yourselves in a respectul way to the entire Columbus and Lowndes County Community. The comments that are being posted are attacts not only on the baseball program, the baseball coach, but also on each other. Ya'll are not obviously 1 big happy family and in my opinion your behavior and comments are inappropriate. I am glad that our newspaper is a local one and hopefully there are not many online readers throughout our state. *&!#'s in many comments. That shows how small you really are. Tempers flaring! WOW! Supposedly an out of control person is what started this whole situation.
There are always hirings, firings, disciplinary actions concerning students, board decisions, etc at schools that are not supported 100% by all parents. There are always many varied and differing opinions about issues. We would live in a perfect world if we all thought alike, but we don't. But the New Hope Community needs to accept your differences in opinions and RESPECT each other.
No coach, teacher, principal, etc is guaranteed to never be terminated or replaced. As a matter of fact, especially in the coaching field, you expect it sooner of later. What if Coach Hester's contract in not renewed? If he has such a wonderful reputation on and off the field, he will be overwhelmed with offers from other schools. He and his family may not want to relocate, but working Americans are losing jobs and relocating every day in this horrible economy. No one has 100% job security when you are an employee for a business. I assume he and his family are very happy here and do not want this posssible change in their lives, and I can understand that and my heart goes out to them, but I have always been a believer that good can come from bad. This is a bad and unfortunate situation, and the New Hope Community's behavior has been horrific.
And to the annonymous bloggers - I read the online issues of the Clarion Ledger and Commercial Appeal and you are in the majority! Most bloggers use screen names, regardless of their opinion.

 

Article Comment Mickey Elliott commented at 5/30/2009 2:52:00 PM:

Sam I am, I have no clue who you are, nor do I care. You let your stupid side show again when you made the statement that no one could have kept you from that meeting when you were a teenager.It is evident that you did not respect authority then nor do you respect it now. Why don't you get over it. Are you Mrs. Buckley in disguise?

 

Article Comment new hope resident commented at 5/30/2009 7:36:00 PM:

my kids are 3 and 2 so what happens with coach hester doesn't effect me or my kids. however, i have been following the comments made on this site as well as the wcbi site and i find myself asking one question over and over again. the way hester has been described by his former players and people that know him, reminds of the way another coach's players always described him when they speak of him. so i asked myself, if coach paul bear bryant were alive today, what would people say about him and his coaching style? i know before the band wagon jumps on here, hester and bryant aren't even in the same hemisphere when it comes to coaching accomplishments, but they have stark similarities when it comes to coaching style. bryant was has one of the most hard nosed, tough as leather, disciplinarians as anyone who has ever graced the coaching profession. bryant also didn't coach to the alumni or boosters or parents with influence. bryant played the players that could win games and national championships and we all know his winning record. so, again i asked myself. if bryant was alive and coaching today, what would he say or do if in the same position as hester and would he change his coaching style to satisfy todays softer, gentler kids who can't take a butt chewing or who's mama comes to the rescue when a coach says something a little off color. they don't make men like they used to and it's because the influences of the bear bryants of the world are no longer allowed to influence. we as a society are turning our kids into mush because when things don't go their way or someone says something to "disrespect" them, they go running to mama. i miss the REAL MEN who made this country!!

 

Article Comment Mickey commented at 5/30/2009 11:38:00 PM:

I have no dog in this hunt, but there are several questions that are going unanswered. I know everyone's having fun posturing on their soapboxes and turning this local personnel matter into some afternoon soap opera, but let us shuck the corn, cut through the BS and see if we can get some real questions answered:

1. By my calculations, only three entities initially knew about this: the school board, Mike Alford, and Coach Hester. Which one brought the media into this? Better yet, why?

2. The incedent in question: Was there an official report filed by school personnel? What does the report say?

3. Were there impartial witnesses to the incedent in question (Hernando's coaches and fans, the umpires, School administrators?) What do they have to say? Have their observations been recorded?

4. Coach Hester is a well-established, well-known coach with a loyal following. Mike Alford, being from New Hope, knows this. Surely the board knows this as well. It seems odd that they would be unanimous in wanting to get rid of him. What does the board and Mike Alford know that has not been made public? We can speculate, but until they start talking, it is pointless to do so.

 

Article Comment Mickey commented at 5/31/2009:

One other question:

If what Coach Hester allegedly did was bad enough to warrant him losing his job, why was he not fired on the spot?

 

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