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Thank goodness for volunteers

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Mike's Minute

By Mike Aldridge

After every track meet that is held in the athletic complex, Coach Danny Simpson always writes to me that he and Coach Robert Walker want to thank all of the parents and volunteers without whom the meet would have been very difficult to have.  
This made me think of all of the volunteers that we have around our county in the sports world.
Volunteer coaches come in many different styles.  
Some of the “volunteers” are paid a little, which to the strictest definition would make them not a volunteer, but in truth, they still are since what they are paid barely scratches the surface of what they contribute.  
Many of the volunteer coaches actually put more of their own money into their team than they are paid.  
Also, what they are paid if broken down would be less than $1 per hour, which is less than fast food workers and any other beginning-wage-type of job.
Just consider the number of T-ball, coach-pitch, Little League, Pony League and youth soccer coaches who are spending their time at River Road Park tonight and the Pee Wee football coaches in the fall.  
There will be even more of them each night once school is out and they play a late game.  
Each team has a minimum of two coaches and many have three or four, especially with the younger players who require more supervision.  Granted, many if not all of them have a child playing, but still there are 11 to 15 players on each roster so most of the players are not coaches’ children.  
Frankly, I am still amazed at the number of youngsters that are dropped off and picked up after the game because of parental indifference or other weak excuses.  
Of course, there are also children who are better off if their parents are not there while the game is being played, but that is another opinion for a different day.  
Other volunteers are the ones who help with the high school sports programs.  
From cheerleading to wrestling and all of the other sports volunteer coaches make it much easier for the paid head coaches to perform their duties.  
Many of the head coaches would profess that without the volunteer assistants their job would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to do.
One other group of volunteers that comes to mind is the people who make up the hall of fame committees or alumni association committees.  
All of these people are unpaid volunteers who spend a lot of time in the season of their sport and out of it to promote the people who played for Cynthiana High and Harrison County High School.  
In baseball alumni association’s case, one of the members of the committee travels form Germantown, Tenn., often to attend meetings and work for the baseball alumni.  
One doesn’t have to always agree on the people who are selected to recognize the time and effort put into these associations. If you are a past player, cheerleader or supporter of the sports that have alumni associations, I encourage you to join and participate.  
Each of the two, baseball and football, award scholarships each year to deserving graduates to help further their education.  
That should be reason enough to want to be a member. The good work that these associations do makes one wonder why all of the sports do not have an alumni group.