Posted on Jul 25, 2019
L-R: Steven Utroska, Coach Tony Vance, Jerome Brown. Our thanks to Hattiesburg High School Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, Tony Vance, for providing our program last Tuesday.
President Steven Utroska presided over today’s meeting. Jerome Brown gave today’s invocation and Ben Donald led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Mike McPhail thanked those who volunteered to help with today’s meeting. He also introduced his guest, Sean Tweedy.
Steven reminded members that we need volunteers to deliver our Meals on Wheels. He also passed around committee sign-up sheets and asked members who haven’t joined a committee to please do so. He also reported that the Fundraising Committee is beginning to work on fundraising ideas for the club. Any member with an idea is requested to share that idea with Mark Killingsworth, the committee chair.
Jerome Brown then introduced today’s guest speaker, Tony Vance. Tony is Athletic Director and Head Coach for Hattiesburg High School. The football team is the 2019 5A Region 4 South State Champion.
Coach Vance reminded members, as he does his team members, that we all need to know what our why is and know where we’re going. Without that knowledge, it will not matter which fork in the road you take.
He stresses to his coaches and players that they need to have a vision and a plan to accomplish that vision. Tony says that good leaders build sustainability. Once you leave a program, it will continue the path you have chosen if you’ve developed that sustainability.
How will the Hattiesburg High team do during the coming season? Tony notes that the team has not had a good summer thus far, but he expects that to change in the coming weeks. The team lost 26 seniors last year along with 4 coaches. However, the expectations are not going to be lowered, according to Vance.
His coaches rank every player prior to the start of the season. They then set a goal to improve each player’s ranking by 1 or more points throughout the season. They also understand that growth is optional, and change is inevitable. Throughout the season they understand what is working and what isn’t working and make necessary adjustments.
Tony says that he believes the athletic program is an extension of the classroom. He encourages his coaches to teach the players the values and skills that they will need to succeed in life. Three of the baseball team members went on to play Major League Baseball. During the past 6 years, 46 of the school’s athletes have received scholarships.
Mark then adjourned the meeting with our motto, “Service Above Self.”