|Flashes from Gordon: Eastwood needs to show patience with first-year coach|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON/Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Wednesday, 31 July 2013 09:23|
Random thoughts while wishing the Rossford school district would build a football stadium at the Glenwood Athletic Complex:
PATIENCE: Lindsay Ross is a sweetheart who is well-respected in the coaching community.
One can only hope the Perrysburg High School graduate isn't committing career suicide by becoming Eastwood's girls head basketball coach.
Ross is the school's fourth head coach since Jim Gracyk didn't return after the 2006-07 season.
Regardless of your feelings for Gracyk, his success can't be disputed. Gracyk was a polarizing figure in the district because of his intense style.
The Eagles won 300 games and 10 league titles during Gracyk's tenure, and his 2001 team advanced to the state semifinals.
But Eastwood has fallen on hard times since he left. The Eagles are just 33-96 overall and 24-56 in league play in six seasons without him.
Eastwood's middle school teams also have had troubles. The eighth-grade team had trouble just finding enough players last season. The district doesn't have a youth program, either, but Ross is planning on starting one.
The most troubling aspect to Eastwood's problems is district administrators have shown little patience with their coaches.
Gracyk's last three replacements have lasted just two years each. Given the lack of patience and unless Ross is a miracle worker, district leaders need to be patient and supportive of Ross as she builds the program. Supporting a coach isn't always easy as the losses mount and complaints increase.
But there is a sign Eastwood's administrators are giving Ross their full support.
Eastwood administrators asked two recently-retired successful coaches to help Ross with the program.
Although both declined, it's a step in the right direction for Ross to have the backing of district leaders who realize Ross will have her hands full with being a first-time varsity head coach and a full-time teacher for the first time.
When Ross applied for the teaching position at Eastwood, she didn't apply for the head coaching position. But Eastwood officials asked her to take the job and she agreed.
Ross, an assistant at Maumee last season, has an impressive r√©sum√©, a good pedigree and deserves to be given every chance to succeed. If she is able to turn the program into a winner, her career will be off to an outstanding start.
Eastwood's volleyball, softball and girls track programs already rank among the elite in the Northern Buckeye Conference. There's no reason the girls basketball program can't regain its place among the NBC's best.
LEADERS: By writing a weekly column, yours truly finally can catch up on some well-deserved words of praise.
First up on the list are Lake superintendent Jim Witt and athletics director Dave Shaffer for the leadership they showed in the district following the tornado that hit the district in June, 2010.
There are no leadership manuals, college courses or life experiences to prepare school administrators for how to handle a devastating tornado. But Witt and Shaffer handled the situation and the rebuilding of the high school very, very well.
NEW: Next up on the well-done list are new high schools built by Elmwood, Lakota, North Baltimore, Otsego and Perrysburg.
Those facilities were long overdue as students and staff suffered for far too long with out-dated facilities.
Also impressive are three other athletic facilities - Elmwood's track and its accompanying football bleachers and press box; Rossford's multi-sport facility at Glenwood; and Leyland Family Field for Perrysburg baseball.
POLLS: The glut of college football media days last week is a reminder all polls (pre-season and in-season) in all sports should be abolished.
The polls create interest and generate discussion, but aren't worth the paper they're written on.
Since in-season polls won't go away, it'd be nice if the first poll in all sports wasn't compiled until the halfway point of the season.
In the interest of full disclosure, yours truly votes in two weekly college hockey polls.
FAREWELL: Good riddance to July, easily the worst sports month of the year.
Outside of Wimbledon, the British Open and maybe Major League Baseball's all-star-game, and NASCAR races at Daytona and Indianapolis, there are few sporting events worth paying attention to in July.
PET PEEVE: The use of the phrase "golf shot" by TV announcers is one of the most annoying things in sports.
The sport is obvious. Why can't they just say 'shot?'
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