I loved the picture of Newman’s girls track coach Val Gassman and legendary coach Chuck Rosenberry sitting on a bench at Westwood that was on the cover of Thursday’s editions.
I liked it because it wasn’t staged, and it managed to capture a moment that paralleled the theme of Christopher Heimerman’s story on Rosenberry.
Rosenberry has provided guidance to both coaches and athletes for a long time.
Some of you might have noticed the over line above the photo that read, “SVM Retrospective.”
If you flip back to the cover of this section, you’ll see the same above the feature story by Larry Brennan on Fulton’s Oscar Clark.
Clark seems like quite the guy. One of those real gems to a community and its athletic programs.
I have used this brand a few other times in my time as sports editor.
You might remember the story of Don Ebersole that ran after his death last summer.
Ebersole was a local pickup basketball legend. His story touched pretty close to home for me personally, considering I spent hours on the court with Don throughout the years.
When I wrote the story, I hoped to connect with the large network of folks around the area who had similar experiences with Don. I also wanted to lift the veil for those who only knew Don for basketball and show them the man he was away from the court.
I also used it when I wrote about former Sterling athlete, teacher and coach DuWayne Dietz last fall.
Dietz, like Rosenberry, guided athletes and coaches around the area for decades. Also like Rosenberry, his name is still alive in the sport of track and field. All you have to do is go over to Roscoe Eades Stadium and you’ll see Dietz’s name on the track that encircles the football field.
While there are plenty of similarities between these four men, the uniting theme is that they have left an indelible mark on our community.
That’s what I look for when I plop that SVM Retrospective label above a feature.
I’d like to make this a regular feature in our section, much like the SVM Family series we have established over the last 5 or 6 years.
While I have some names and faces in mind already for some more installments of this “new” series, I know there must be dozens of people around the local sports scene who would fit the mold.
Many of these gems, I might not know. That’s where you guys come in.
Have you encountered someone in your lifetime who you consider a real treasure to the area? Do they go beyond the call to lend a helping hand?
Has their love for a sport evolved into them becoming an ambassador for athletics in the area? Does that passion for sports combine with a life story that maybe the rest of the world does not know?
If so, let me know. I’d love to tell their story, and I know our readers would love to read it.