June 17, 2009
One could write about Stacy Hester until the arm ached, and apparently some have. But let me be very brief. In fact, let''s put this in Barney Fife format:
A! Stacy Hester has put New Hope on the map by producing many repeating years of winning baseball teams. Keep in mind that these are not recruited teams; in high school you work with who''s there.
B! If Stacy were an Ivan the Terrible, the boys would not have gone out for baseball.
C! It is a fundamental principle of management that if an employee, particularly a successful one, is doing something you feel should be done differently, you advise him of it, and give him the opportunity to correct it. ''nough said.
Gill Harris, Columbus
NH Parent commented at 6/17/2009 3:24:00 PM:
It is also a fundamental principle of education that you don't verbally berate kids in public. Continuosly putting down a kid while coaching him gets old and Hester did this daily. There should be some positive feedback from any teacher or coach but the kids never got that from this coach.
As far as choosing to go out for baseball, you teach the kids that they will not always get a teacher or coach they want. You have to deal with what is there and come out with the best experience possible. You don't always get to choose in life and the same goes for education and sports.
Just like you are saying that it's a good management principle to tell someone when they are not doing something right, it's also a good practice that when a player messes up on the field you correct that player, not make a berating comment about something that has nothing to do with baseball. Hester was an expert at coming up with these type of comments and never making a point that would help correct what the player had done wrong on the field.
Also, if you really knew what was going on in the county school system as far as superintendent and board decisions, you would know that you must treat all employees fairly and what you do to others must also be done for all. In other words, if you fire one employee for something they did, you can't turn your head when a baseball coach does the same exact thing.
Hester is still trying to work the public up in a frenzy and when all is said and done, he finally will realize that not many people are behind him when you look at the volume of athletes who have come through that program. Only a few close friends and family members are yelling, when the majority agrees with the decision of the superintendent and school board.
LV commented at 6/17/2009 8:59:00 PM:
NH Parent (or AB, SY, TY, RB, KW, MS, etc)
I would love to hear where you came up with that "fundamental principle" of education. There is nothing wrong with "berating" kids when they are in the wrong. The positive reinforcement comes from the assistant coaches (that is one of an assistants jobs).
I find it funny that the parents that are against Hester are all using the guise of "worried about the safety of the kids." The truth is that there are teachers/coaches at New Hope that have been involved in truly inappropriate actions with students, but you never hear anything from these parents that are worried about their kids. The truth is that these parents just do not like Hester and have to use the kids as a scapegoat. And the sad thing is that some of these actions happened under Mike Halford's watch which shows his true character (or lack there of). The funny thing is that you say that the majority of the people are against Hester, but if that is true then why do you have to get on this message board and keep posting your negative view. The reason is that you are in the minority and must continually post to try even out the positive comments. You are exactly the kind of parent that has been detrimental to our school over the past 5-6 years.
Coach Hester is a good man that deserves much better than the way the he is being treated. I learned a lot about hard work and responsibility from him. God bless you coach and I hope you have continued success.
me commented at 6/18/2009 6:21:00 PM:
Really? I dont know any thing about Hester personally, but you honestly think that "berating" a child is ok when they are in the wrong! Wow! I would never berate a child for any reason! It is a fact that children respond better to constructive criticism than debasement! NH parent was dead on when he or she said that a coach should correct a child and explain what they are doing wrong, so that the child will correct their mistake. Verbally abusing a child is never ok! Again, I am not saying that Hester ever did this, I am just saying that I disagree with the comment that LV made about "berating" a child.
LV commented at 6/18/2009 8:57:00 PM:
Did you notice that BERATING was in quotations? That is the word that people like to associate with Coach Hester when they are trying to smear him in a negative light. The truth is I was chewed out many times over my career and thinking back, I deserved everyone of them. Coach yells and lets you know when you are in the wrong and there is NOTHING wrong with that!!!!!! I played for him for 4 years and there were plenty of a** chewings. My point was that people use "berating" when the real word should be DISCIPLINE! I have yet to read a negative comment from a former player because most of us understand what Coach was trying to instill in us. Thanks for everything Coach and the way you were treated shows the true character of people in leadership positions in Lowndes County. No wonder our school system has diminished under Mike Halford's watch, but at least he voted to give himself a $25,000 raise in this economy. Leadership???? I THINK NOT!!!!!!!!
Sam I Am commented at 6/18/2009 10:59:00 PM:
A! He's always had good players and good asst. coaches. He didn't do it by himself. Actually, the teams may have been better without him.
B! The players have been told throughout the years that they had to love baseball more than they hated Hester. Is that the way that high school athletics should be?
C! He has done things for years and gotten away with them. The board made the right decision.
class of 1994 commented at 6/20/2009 7:46:00 PM:
I understand everyone has their own opinion on Coach Hester. But your facts, (Sam I Am) are false. In the first 10 years of Hester's early days. He never had a real assisant coach. Lets remember their was no 7th,8th,9th,or 10th grade programs before he came. I can say that because I was there. Hester is no god, but he made New Hope the powerhouse program it is. You really must be one of the players that could not take the pressure. Its very easy to blame Hester for your inner hate of yourself. No matter what you post he will never be forgotten for his winning ability and the way he takes charge of the players he coaches and makes strong
men out of them. Some kids are weaker than others. Everyone can see your hate for him as a person. Why can't you agree he is one of the best coaches in the state. Stats dont't lie.
bear commented at 6/22/2009 10:28:00 AM:
First, kids and their parents are "soft" these days. What happened to tough love? What happened to molding young men? What happened to teaching kids, through athletics, that life can be hard, and you have to "push past the pain". Bear Bryant was famous for how hard he pushed his players (see The Junction Boys), yet those who stuck it out would have followed their coach to the gates of hell. The overwhelming majority of those players became success stories in life, and they directly linked their success to Bryant pushing them to be better than they thought they could be.
The real testament of Hester's success is not the championships, but the players he coached who have become coaches themselves. Sam Adams is the head baseball coach at Caledonia, Tony Montgomerey is the head coach at EMCC, Chris Chism is the head coach at Hernando High, Rodney Batts is coaching at Delta State. Go ask those men if they can link their success to Coach Hester. Go find another coach that has left that kind of legacy, beyond championships (and Hester has many). It's sad that a beaurocrat like Mike Halford can reduce a man like Hester's stellar career to a complaint from a parent. I agree with a previous poster that Hester maintained a powerful team for 18 years with the players that came out to play, and yes he demanded committment and dedication to baseball, and the team, but is that so wrong. Would you rather your son be holed up in his bedroom playing video games? Hester made champions. Mike Halford has made nothing less than an awfully weak spined decision.