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Article:A high school coach who gets it

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Gainesville State

The Gainesville State Tornadoes...celebrating a loss?

The story of Covenant School's 100-0 defeat of Dallas Academy has been prominent in the news the past couple of weeks, including Cheezer's own analysis of the situation here. Perhaps you missed the story of another Texas high school coach, team and parents who got it right.

In November, Faith Christian in Grapevine, between Dallas and Fort Worth, played Gainesville State School, a maximum-security facility for juveniles. Faith coach Kris Hogan had asked the parents and cheerleaders of his school to split down the middle and half to go the GSS sideline and cheer for their team. The GSS players ran onto the field surrounded by a spirit line of Faith parents, including a sign to crash through reading "GSS Go Tornadoes". Parents were even given sheets identifying the GSS players so they could cheer for them by name. Gainesville State lost 33-14, but their two touchdowns equalled their total for their first eight games.

This is in significant contrast with the events of the Covenant School's girls basketball game against Dallas Academy, and in particular, the words of Coach Micah Grimes after that embarrassment. While some might have been thrilled with ending the regular season against an overmatched, winless opponent, Coach Hogan saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. The players, and perhaps most surprisingly, their parents, agreed. Together, they provided an experience like none other for the GSS players and made a lasting impression on them. Hogan's stated goal was to give them hope. It looks like he succeeded.

In an interview with Galloway and Co. on ESPN 103.3 FM (audio here), Coach Hogan addressed the events of Covenant's 100-0 victory over Dallas Academy and handling potential blowout situations. He said "we don't make decisions gametime. Everything, every decision we ever make, we make far in advance." He also talked about building that approach into the culture of the players, saying "our starters start looking worried if it's 21-0 in the first quarter... We're not going to publicly humiliate other teenagers."

Kudos to the Faith Christian community--people who have built successful lives but realize that they also had some luck along the way. Instead of celebrating themselves, they are trying to pass a little on to others, and teaching their kids to do the same.

For more of the story, read the Fort Worth Star Telegram's Unique fan support lifts spirits for players at Gainesville State School. Rick Reilly also covered the story here.

The Star Telegram also reports that Gainesville State gets a big boost from November game against Grapevine Faith and that it has had a lasting impact at GSS.

Finally, Faith Christian receives national attention for supporting Gainesville State informs readers that this was not the only positive impact the players and parents from Faith Christian made this year.

Norm Hitzges from KTCK 1310 The Ticket interviewed Kris Hogan Friday morning in Tampa--listen to it here.

Photo from espn.com.

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