The well-being of Humble ISD’s student athletes was on Athletic Director Troy Kite’s mind as he introduced the district’s five football coaches during the Rotary Club of Humble’s annual Football Luncheon.
“The heat’s been brutal. It’s not fun,” Kite said, “I’ve had lots of calls about keeping our kids safe and, I assure you, it’s our number one priority. Each campus has certified trainers making sure the coaches and players follow our strict guidelines.”
Each August, Humble Rotary invites the district’s coaches to assess their upcoming year.
“Frankly, this is my favorite program of the year,” Rotary President Chris Elliott told club members gathered at the Humble Civic Center Aug. 21 as he introduced Kite.
Kite and the coaches didn’t disappoint.
The Kingwood High team came up with a novel way to beat the heat, early practice – at 5 a.m.
“The kids don’t mind getting up that early,” said Coach Barry Campbell. “The players and their parents are adjusting. They’re learning that you go into a game with a plan and, after the first play, you adapt to the situation on the field.”
The Kingwood team is younger this year with many of the seniors graduating “…but our team is adapting,” Campbell said. “The team has a great attitude.”
Humble Coach Charles West described the “Night of Champions” that the school organized.
“These young men go through a lot, but it’s important for them to realize they can change what’s going on in their lives,” West said, “and that’s what our ‘Night of Champions’ was all about. Our new principal, Terri Osborne, was there along with our coaching staff. It’s important for our players to understand they are a family and they must play as one.”
Atascocita Coach Craig Stump emphasized the impact that athletics and the coaches often have on players, including players who are no longer on the team.
“A young man came in to see me a couple weeks ago,” Stump said. “He was bringing his younger brother to school and he’s in college now. He thanked me for what I did. What I did was remove him from the team a couple years ago. It was a tough lesson for him and a tough lesson for his parents, but he came back, thanked me, learned his lesson.”
Kingwood Park Coach Clayton Maple underscored the importance that failure plays.
“Let failure be your friend,” Maple said, “but never tap out if you want to reach your goal, and our goal is to bring the championship to Kingwood Park. When your buddies are having a tough day, support them.”
Summer Creek Coach Ken Harris modestly acknowledged that he is a small part of the Summer Creek football program.
“Our kids are the program,” Harris said. “I love these kids. They’ve built a great program at Summer Creek and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
Kite admitted he gets “chill bumps” when he hears student athletes speak.
“I want to summarize what we heard from the coaches and students,” Kite told the Rotarians. “We heard, ‘be on time,’ ‘have a work ethic,’ ‘be able to adapt,’ ‘be accountable,’ and ‘you’re part of a brotherhood.’ Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with those qualities?
“Life isn’t pretty,” Kite said, “and as they go out and face life, these student athletes will remember and benefit from what they have learned … You must have the ability to win. You must have a supportive administration. You must have a dedicated and loyal community.”
Humble ISD Trustee Nancy Morrison concurred.
“I have a son, a graduate of Humble High School and their football program, who learned to be on time and to adapt to anything, thanks in part to Humble football,” said Morrison.
Prior to the football presentation, Humble Rotary President Chris Elliott announced that polio has been eradicated in Nigeria, a major effort undertaken by Rotary International including the Rotary Club of Humble as the group attempts to eliminate polio throughout the world.
The Rotary Club of Humble meets Wednesdays at 11:45 a.m. at the Humble Civic Center. To learn more about the advantages of becoming a Rotarian, visit humblerotary.com.