Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Life, Love, and Eighth Grade Girls

This morning I learned one of my former students and student coaches, Brandon Greene, was named the new boys' basketball coach at Brentwood Christian School in Austin! Brandon is a big part of the following story, from January of 2006. Interestingly enough, the girls' coach at Brentwood Christian is Devan Loftis who was my student in Tennessee!

This morning at 6:00 AM, I dragged myself to my Toyota to head for school. As I crawled inside, I was greeted by the lingering aroma of hair spray and perfume. After twelve hours, it doesn't fade. Yesterday afternoon, my middle school girls' basketball team played a game at Grace Presbyterian School, twenty-five miles away through Houston traffic. We carpool- I don't have a Commercial Driver's License which would allow me to drive a bus. We lost again, our fifth in a row. It was close, like all of them have been. We started out with a very good record this year but as our schedule improved, our losses have mounted. But that's not what I want to talk about. What I will take away from yesterday was not the game but the ride afterwards. The game was forgettable; the journey home was memorable.

The kids choose to ride with Coach Cusic (my assistant), a parent that goes along, or with me. I think I get the ones who draw the short straws. Yesterday, my passengers on the trip back to our campus were, in alphabetical order, Brittany, Tinu, and Victoria. These three eighth graders have had good seasons on the court but that is not what matters. They are great kids who don't get into trouble and they excel in the classroom. Along with my other players, they have the ability to immediately forget the game we just completed, a trait which I wish I shared. During our venture into rush hour, the trio waxed eloquently on a wide variety of topics that mutually affect our lives. Who am I kidding ? They talked about BOYS! For close to a half hour, I heard about their crushes. Now, the objects of their affection aren't fellow middle schoolers. We are talking HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR GUYS, better known as Brandon, Michael, and Victor. (OK, technically Vic is in college now but he was in our high school just last May.) My three girls debated them like a slate of political candidates and didn't mind trash talking towards their teammates' imaginary sweethearts (and their imaginary sweethearts' real life girlfriends!) One who will remain anonymous (Tinu) even recalled the first words her 'boyfriend' ever spoke to her...... when she was in FIRST GRADE! They went on and on and on. Here is the neat thing. They made terrific choices! They fell for guys I would hope my daughters would like. Brandon, Michael, and Victor are superlative young men who have made their parents proud. It's innocent. I would rather have these girls like someone much older they know there is no chance with than a boy closer to their age whose values and morals are questionable. Everything is exciting for Brittany, Tinu, and Victoria right now. We lose that enthusiasm for each new twenty-four hours as our years add up. The scriptures teach us not to blow off our youth and I guarantee you these three are getting their money's worth. So, why does inhaling the air in my Toyota remind me of walking by the cosmetics' counter at the mall department store? Because, before these young ladies are basketball players, they are girls and perfume and hair spray are part of the equation. And so are boys.

Applicable quote of the day:
"As long as you can still be disappointed, you are still young."
Sarah Churchill

God bless,
Steve (Coach Hawley)
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at


Steve Hawley said...

hey coach this is one of your favorite aide's/viri.....its funny how all of your girl students talk to you about boys and there crushes...but i guess its because you can understand our point of view...have a great day....

Jon said...

girls are gonna be girls

JKC said...

Well, Coach Hawley - Steve, if I may - I am reminded oh, so many years ago, when I was waiting on the return to campus of my older sons from some school outing. I had my youngest son with me, and without knowing that you required your students to call you Mr. or Coach or something just as respectful, he called you Steve. You began with what you knew was going to be a good lesson for this young man, ending with, "How would you like it if I called your mother 'Mom'". To your surprise - or possibly chagrin - he replied, "Oh, that's ok, everyone else does!"

But, I will say that your name comes up often when we are together - and you are always referred to as Coach Hawley - with great love and respect.

Devin Turner said...

Hey coach, I sometimes talk to you about my crushes but if i dont you can always read about them on my blogs it's easy to talk to you!!

Warren Baldwin said...

I have a senior high girl and, yes, she uses hair spray before every game. And I still ask, "Why are you doing that"? Guess I'm the one that's got to learn.