August 8, 2011
It's about more than just a game for three Louisa County men. Practically everyday for an entire season, long-time friends Rico Smith, Tony Banks and Roy Sims come together to coach youth football for the Louisa Wildcats.
“We came with a common goal to 'reach one, teach one' and it's all about the kids,” said Rico Smith.
While these coaches run drills, practice kicking and throwing, it's the life lessons that come from the game that are the most important.
“We want to enrich these kids and empower them to let them understand that football has a lot of parallels with life,” said Smith.
They only have a handful of goals on the gridiron. It may be a small list, but it's one they say will take the young players a long way. Coaches want the kids to give 100% at all times, play hard, learn the game, believe in each other and have fun.
While some youth football coaches focus solely on winning, this trio is teaching players that doing your best will get you a lot further in life than taking home a first place trophy after every game.
“At the end of the day when you step back and you walk away from your job, the classroom, the field; you want to take inventory of that day and say 'did I give my best' and that's all I want to do is see these kids give 100 percent,” said Smith.
It's for this reason players and their parents call Smith, Sims and Banks heroes.
“We've touched these kids lives - Tony, Roy and myself - and it makes me feel good. It makes me feel that God is pleased with me,” said Smith.
Although, this is a brand new season, these junior football players are already making strides and taking with them lessons to last a lifetime.