To the Editor:
I would like to thank everyone that shared in my retirement party from Mr. M’s. Your kind words and thoughtfulness are very much appreciated. I have made so many friends and great relationships in my almost 30 years of being part of Mr. M’s.
I will miss being around our loyal customers and seeing new faces, but I’m also looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I would like to give a sincere thank you to Andy, Peggy, Billy, and Sara for the great send off and also for the many years of being a part of “my family.” To my co-workers that have also become family, I will miss seeing you each day and giving you my normal “ration of grief.” I have watched many of you grow into amazing adults and pray that you have the brightest of futures.
Thanks again to you all!
Thank you to the coaches
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the Gladwin boys Junior high track coaches Mr. Christensen and Mr. Strohkirch for the great job coaching the boys junior high track team this spring. My son Drew had the privilege of being coached by these two men.
On Wednesday, June 2 a group of Gladwin Junior high boys competing in the 4x800 broke a school record that has stood for over 22 years. This four-man team beat the old record by eight seconds and received a time that ranked them first in the state and third in the nation. The boys competing in this event, Elijah Christensen, Ben Verellen, Seth Mead and Drew von Matt, finished the 3200 meter race with a time of 9:11.1.
After the boys returned home from the out of town meet in Shepherd, they all met at the Gladwin Junior High along with both coaches to change the record board that proudly hangs on the wall. While looking at the record board, I began to notice a lot of records have been broken in recent years in both the girl’s divisions and now the boys divisions as well. I began to ask myself, “why?”
Is it nutrition, better hydration, better shoes, longer practice hours, meticulous race preparation or better coaching? Have kids just evolved physically over the past 20 years and now they are just simply faster? Which one is it? I commend the boys for their hard work, determination, and commitment to their team. They flat out earned their success.
But it all starts with the boys buying into the program set forth by the coaches. I watched as the season started and the coaches jockeyed runners around to different events throughout the meets finding the perfect combination for this race. Then tweaking the order in which the boys ran to find where they each performed at their peak. I watched as Coach Christensen meticulously paid close attention to every little detail leading up to the final race of the season. He supplied running shoes to kids who did not have spikes, which not only gave them a little extra physical advantage but helped boost their confidence and self-worth.
He set up extra practice times to work on baton exchanges and running technique. Parents received multiple messages from the coach in the days leading up to the final race making sure the kids were properly fed and hydrated. He sent out messages ensuring the kids packed extra socks and gear in the event they encountered rain. While at the meet, Coach Christensen brought a shade tent to make sure the runners were comfortable and not over-heating in the sun. Both coaches could be seen sprinting at every meet in the infield to ensure they were giving clear verbal instruction to the boys as they entered every turn around the track, coaching and cheering them on.
The nutrition, better hydration, better shoes, more practice hours, meticulous preparation are all products of exceptional coaching. It all adds up to dedicated and caring coaching. Junior high athletes have not evolved physically from 20 years ago, magically getting faster. On the junior high record board there are 18 record holding positions listed on the girl’s side of the board. Coach Christensen has coached 13 of those record holders.
Now as the boys coach, in his first year, three records have been broken already. Each athlete deserves full credit for the hard work they put forward, they earned it! But without the coach in their corner pushing, driving, teaching and most importantly shaping these young athletes into successful young adults they would never have had the experience. Thank you coaches for all you do!
Bill von Matt