Coach thanks Covington

To the Editor:

During my coaching career at Covington Schools, I have many individuals I would like to thank, starting with the student-athletes. Thank you for the opportunity to be your coach; to watch you develop into your roles on the football field, the track, or the wrestling mat has been a thrill for me. To the Covington wrestlers: as you know, wrestling is a passion of mine. Thank you for the heights you have taken me over the years! It gives me great joy knowing you can take what the sport of wrestling has taught you into your adult life. It has been a privilege to be part of that.

Thank you to the Covington School Board for your confidence in me, to the school’s administrative staff for the support over the years, to the custodial staff for your help moving and setting up wrestling mats (in rain and snow!), and to the athletic department, especially Roger Craft for the advice, assistance, and leadership given to me during my career. Thanks to Ben Robinson, who has captured in his photography the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat for so many Covington athletes. Your time spent traveling from sport to sport, composing articles, and posting pictures on the Covington athletic websites is immeasurable. We have a first-class website!

A special thank you to the many, many parents of Covington wresters who donated time and money starting back in 1998, when the wrestling practice building was constructed to the countless hours spent in preparing food for concessions, working at concessions or head tables at meets, to announcing and volunteering your time at tournaments — all for the love of the sport and your child.

A huge thank you to assistant coaches Eric Vanderhorst, Mike Stephan, and Lee Donnan, who have strengthened the wrestling program and who will continue to make it thrive. Also to volunteer coaches Randy Sowers, Brad Hall, and all the parents who help with the youth program. Glen Holopeter deserves a thank you for the numerous meals he prepared for the athletes and the Bucc Boosters for contributing monetary support to the athletic programs.

Lastly, thank you to my family: my spouse, Diane, and sons Bryan and Brad. You all gave up much, shared the highs and lows, and stood by me until the end of the ride. Thanks for the memories.

— Tom Barbee