The date March 1st will always hold a special place in my heart – it’s the official start day for high school spring sports in Montgomery County. This year on March 1st, I drove by the baseball field at my alma mater, Whitman HS and took a quick glance at their first practice of the season. The 2014 Whitman ball team has an excellent line up with speed, savvy athletes, and at least 3 members going on to play college baseball. However, the real reason I went to Whitman HS this past Saturday was to check in with a couple of my basketball coaches before their winter Rising Star League playoffs began on Sunday 3/2.
I walked into the Whitman HS gym foyer area, like I have a million times, and began talking hoops strategy for playoffs plus spring basketball with a Koa coach who had finished practice about 10 minutes earlier. Our Koa teams have back to back practice slots over the weekends, and it’s not uncommon for me to have an opportunity to interact with multiple teams and coaches during a drop by or MBWA (management by walking around). After a few minutes of chatting, I saw an entire group of young athletes (and good work boys for all being dressed in Koa reversible practice pinnies) running out of the gym into the hallway where I was standing. They were all yelling “we need some paper towels!” I was a little confused to see so many boys so excited about the need to get paper towels, until one boy mentioned “Johnny (I changed the name of course) just threw up!”
My next move was predictable; I walked into the gym and saw the Koa coach along with the ailing athlete. The player said he was fine — I think he probably ate a little too much before doing some running drills — and he eventually put himself back in the scrimmage. Then I discovered where the mess was, perfectly placed out of bounds underneath a side hoops. Time to put on my thinking cap and my problem solving hat! Whitman bathrooms have now gone green with hand dryers only, so I started to walk around again and look for some tools. Now I’m not exactly handy in my day to day life, but problems always seem easier to solver on the job versus the home front.
Anti-climatically, I grabbed one of the kid’s water bottles, found a mop outside, and cleaned up the business. After completing this task and getting a thank you from the Koa coach and the athlete, I put a smile on my face. What job in the world allows this range of emotion in less than one hour; a nostalgic glance at your high school baseball career, shop talk about basketball strategies, watching kids practice, and cleaning up puke. I would venture to say I have the best job around.