It's a sad day.
Jun 24, 2009
Chore time for me isn't what it used to be when I was growing up on our eastern Iowa farm, but taking care of two horses in the morning before I head in for work gives me a little time to think about the day ahead. Each morning, stop at this spot to get a feeling for the "tone of the day" - and some attitude about agriculture and the markets.
I was thinking…
... about something that has nothing to do with farming or the markets.
A lot of you know I'm a big believer in the importance of organized athletics... whether it be AAU, high-school, town teams, whatever. It builds characters, makes kids strong... so on. One of the best at it was the head football coach at Aplington-Parkersburg, Iowa, high school. This morning, a young man walked into the weight room at AP where coach Ed Thomas was supervising activities and shot the coach multiple times. Coach Thomas died from the injuries. Local reports indicate there were roughly 50 kids in the weight room this morning from several different AP athletic teams... members of the football, girls and boys basketball, and girls volleyball teams were all reportedly in the weight room when the shooting happened.
A lot of you might remember stories from May 2008 about Parkersburg. It's the Iowa town that was devastated by a May 25, 2008, tornado that leveled hundreds of homes in the small town. The school was badly damaged in the storm, as well. While coach Thomas was unbelievably important in the lives of many young men at the school over 30-something-years of coaching football at the school, he was equally important in the recovery of Parkersburg from last year's storm. Thomas was very active and very supportive of recovery efforts that continue today.
And coach Thomas was unbelievably successful at what he did. He's got four former players in the NFL and was the NFL high school coach of the year (I believe in 2005). Several other of his former players played in college at all different levels.
My kids' school is in the same athletic conference as A-P... and this morning's happenings have left the entire area in shock. It just makes no sense... coach Thomas was a rare man. When I saw him coach, you could tell he demanded the respect of his players, but was quick to show respect for his players, too. It's a sad day. Our prayers go out to the Thomas family, to the families of the kids who were forced to witness such a horrible thing, and to everyone in the community.