Wednesday, March 5, 2008

By Technique.....By Example


We received an e-mail the other day that led us to a KCSR Radio web site containing a story written a good number of years ago. I think it was discovered by Chuck Cogdill (CHS-1957) and passed along to a few of his correspondents.
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The subject was Chadron High School basketball. Not surprisingly, the story was written by the indefatigable Con Marshall, something of an icon for those of us with any interest in knowing who the best-ever free-throw shooter at CHS was......or who had the best batting average when CSC still had a baseball team.......or who the most prolific pass-receiver was for the Eagles in the 1940s. Con knows all that stuff, and if he can't remember, give him a a couple of minutes and he'll find it......somewhere!
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This article by Con was apparently written in 1985. Of course, web links come and go, so I've posted the text separately here with thanks to Chuck, brother John, KCSR, and -- of course -- Con.
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In the photograph above is former CHS basketball coach Verne Lewellen, atop a flatbed trailer in downtown Chadron in March of 1961. That's the year the Cardinals won their first state basketball tournament. The team and coaches had just returned home from Lincoln and were greeted by a huge crowd. Long-time sports booster Paul Babue is at right.
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As a student and player, I and most of my teammates thought Verne Lewellen walked on water. I still do. Okay, okay.....that's just a figure of speech. Nonetheless, he was an excellent coach and wonderful role model.
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Nearly 50 years later, as I watch coaches from the NBA down to the local junior high schools, I am often appalled at the way in which they conduct themselves.
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Coach "Lew" set an example for all of us. His quiet, low-key mentoring stayed with many of us long after we left the basketball court. I admired the way he coached, and I still admire the kind of person he is.
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I finally cornered Verne Lewellen at a CSC football game this year, and I told him exactly how much I appreciated what he taught so many of us, by technique.....and by example.
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Thanks, Coach.



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