As an aspiring coach, I got to witness Pete Hald's 25 years of labor come together for a special night.
My dream of coaching high school basketball or football is still alive. I’m still relatively young, and it helps that I get front-row seats at the games and inside conversation with the coaches. After covering FPC’s Lady Bulldogs’ 25-year anniversary game, not only do I want to coach, but I want to coach one team for a long time.
I’ve never attended a reunion of any sort, whether a school, family or team reunion, so to see dozens of ladies represent a collection of a quarter of a century was moving. A lot of those women have gone on to become successful businesswomen, mothers and wives, and they would all say that coach Pete Hald has greatly influenced them.
High school years are some of the most important years of our lives. We learn to become adults then, so coaches and teachers play a huge role in that four-year period. Through memorable wins, heart-breaking losses, disciplined practices and conflicts with teammates, the coach is present, not only as a spectator.
Hald mentioned how his former players came from the West and Northeast to celebrate with him. For just one night, a lot of coaches can’t generate the outcome Hald did, having over 50 players return for an exhibition game.
It takes a lot for a coach to reach 25 for one team. There has to be continued success. A few bad years may result in firing. Health plays a major role. The coach’s rapport with the community and players’ parents has to remain consistent, and then there are other opportunities that come knocking with success.
Hald says he’s received multiple coaching offers from other girls’ programs and boys’ jobs, but he turned them down. He had a vision for the FPC Lady Dawgs’ soccer program, and he wanted to live it out. In return, he got to witness them all on the same pitch at the same time, which was inspiring.
I want to lead a program like Hald. Years and years after my initial beginning, I’d like to host an anniversary game, where I can gaze out and observe all of the fruit of my labor and walk off the field or court, knowing that dozens of men or women are better people because I touched their lives in a special way.