People love feel-good stories.

Whether it is in the theatre, on the nightly news or circulating through social websites, people react. There is just something about others overcoming odds, bouncing back to their feet and making the best of a bad situation that elicits response.

Without having any personal ties to the subject, the stories can tug at heartstrings and instill inspiration.

In the world of sports, especially high school sports, there is nothing I personally enjoy more than witnessing a program rise from mediocrity or below to become a contender.

Obviously, sports boil down to winning and losing. While losing can create character, every kid deserves to know how it feels to win, and in high school athletics, reaching the playoffs is typically the equivalent of success.

This school year has already seen several programs experience a resurrection of sorts.

The Copperas Cove volleyball team won its first district championship in program history this season. The Bulldawgs and Lady Bulldawgs basketball teams both snapped playoff droughts dating back to 2008 and 2010, respectively.

At Gatesville, after producing four wins in 2011, with a class of 28 seniors, the Hornets football team went undefeated through the regular season and finished the postseason with the second-longest run in school history.

Then, the Hornets soccer team delivered the program’s first playoff appearance since its inception four years ago.

Perhaps the most remarkable story of all, however, comes from Lampasas, where the Lady Badgers soccer team won the district championship just two seasons after finishing 2011 with a total of two victories. Likewise, the Badgers soccer team found itself in the playoffs after a 2-16-1 campaign two seasons ago.

Each of these feats was achieved thanks to talented players. Lady Bulldawgs middle blocker Qiana Canete was named the District 8-5A MVP, while Shawnte’ Goff and Cory Scott bother earned offensive player of the year recognition for Copperas Cove.

Senior quarterback Cole Edmiston put up video-game numbers throughout the Hornets’ season, and the trio of Sebastian Corrales, Franco Vega and Abate Hennessy were the driving force behind Gatesville’s offensive attack on the pitch.

And sophomore center/midfielder Analise Watson is undoubtedly the force behind Lampasas’ 360-degree spin.

But each of these teams has more than gifted playmakers and sound complimentary casts — they all have ideal head coaches.

Some teams need strict discipline and others need a more relaxed environment, but every program needs a respected figure overseeing the roster.

Like individuals, teams have personalities and coaches must seamlessly entwine their styles and philosophies into the collective psyche of multiple teenagers. It is not an easy task by any means, but without doubt, the aforementioned teams have found their perfect leaders.

Coaches are the unofficial authors of feel-good sports stories. They are the ones with the vision, the patience, and the direction to implement the groundwork for building a winning program.

They are the ones who make players want to perform at a higher level and achieve what has previously been unattainable.

Coaches have unique personalities with high inner drives and equally high expectations of others. For whatever reason, they do not always meld with their teams, but when they do, great things can happen that make everyone involved feel good in the end.

Contact Clay Whittington at

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