From coach Kernie Gilliam

To My Seniors, As the season of time moves along, there is something missing. It is the quietness of the moment, the silence of laughter, and the absence of growing closer to all of you that is absent. I know some may see coaching as a sport, but in reality, coaching is the process of helping you grow as an individual, as we grow closer in our relationships, yes, we actually become friends. The growth begins when you are so young, a silly 9th grader with eyes of wonderment and ready to work harder than anyone. The real growth, as any coach truly knows, is the senior year. This is where we see you blossom into the wonderful young woman you are becoming. This is where leadership shows its masterful ability and you not only take charge of yourself to be the best, but you see and feel the need to move your teammates along the same road. 

This year dreams fade of the 4x400 team going to state, watching Katie attack the 300m hurdles (her idea), Brooke returning and being the leader that comes so easy for her, and Mara showing up every day to outwork everyone with a SMILE. I will miss seeing Danielle Klamer showing what sport is about, to work hard in her quest to be her best. I will miss watching our newcomers Renee Brumm, Yanisa Padidang, Frida Ganerus, and Rebecka Lindfors in their drive to find their potential. Yes, a lot will be missed, but here is what cannot be missed, memories. For some those memories entail the totality of 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 8 days but in all cases MEMORIES. You will remember the highlights of success and despair of disappointment, but these are simply microcosms of life. You will take with you the memories of teammates, and lifelong friendships you have developed. Memories of loving your coaches and hating them, and sometimes in the same day!! You will have the memories of Nutrition Day and the Lock In and the silliness of being together. No matter what happens in life, no matter what events you may miss, no matter what things may interrupt your life, nothing can diminish the memories you have created as a Gladwin Track Athlete. 

As your coach I miss you terribly, I actually enjoy pushing you to places you never thought possible. Believing in you, probably more than you did in yourself, and thinking the impossible was always possible. The best days were those when you actually achieved the impossible and your smile was so big and you were overjoyed with inner happiness. If you watched closely a tear probably crept into the corner of my eye. This happened in meets, or in practice. Take this feeling and apply it to your life.

All Things of Worth,

Are Worth Working Hard For

If you can adopt this mantra into your thoughts, it will help you during your next adventures in life. As you travel the road of college, service, work and relationships, keep thinking – If I want it to be, it is up to me and it is worth it!! At times you will change the direction of your life that is ok, sometimes things will not work out, but it will be you making that decision to keep working at it, or take a new direction in life. 

It is ok to shed a tear, to think it is unfair, to say Why ME? This is all ok, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Your senior year was to be special and something has grabbed it from you. 

But when the time comes and you can get past the hurt, simply remember:

The Climb to the Mountain Top is very Difficult, you will stumble, slip, fall, and claw your way to the summit. But once at the top:

THE VIEW IS SPECTACULAR!!

So Keep Climbing Your Mountain!

This year is a slip, a boulder in the way, but you will conquer it, and plant your flag on all things you do in the future. If I was given one wish for every senior, athlete or not, I would simply say: I hope you find love to give and love to receive, that your heart is full of kindness for others, and you have health to accomplish all things you desire to do. 

P.S. – enough of this mushy stuff, we are doing 6x200 @ 32 seconds with a one-minute rest, get ready to work you dogs!!!

 

From Gladwin Athletic Director Lauren Haines

Dear Gladwin Senior,

You are in the final few weeks of your spring season that didn’t happen. That sucks. Really, you are in the final few weeks of your High School sports season that started maybe even four years ago.

You are a Gladwin athlete. You played a sport representing something bigger than yourself because of the name on the front of your jersey. That is no small task. Coaches, teammates, parents, friends and opponents challenged you over these years. But you never gave up. Each season has taught you something different.

Life will not always be fair, and trust me; I know athletics was not either. There will not always be victories because you put in the effort. There will be leaders who seem to be taking you down a different path than expected. There will be times you want to quit. That is when you need to think back at the winning moments and fall back on the things that you learned along the way.

As you graduate, even in these crazy times, don’t forget what you have accomplished and been taught. You dedicated hours and hours to a sport, but more importantly, you dedicated time to the people around you. You fought for a common goal.

When those tough times come, because they will; Take a deep breath and call a teammate for a laugh, call a coach and get their advice or call mom and dad to cry.  Take what you have learned during your time on the field, court or track because these are the things you need for “the rest of your life.” I wish you the best and (at some point please smile because you have a pretty cool story to tell. 2020 Senior, Quarantined) I will continue to cheer you on from the sidelines. 

Sincerely,

Lauren Haines

Gladwin Athletic Director

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