Reader Reply: August 2021
Tell us about a coach who has influenced your life.
I grew up in the small community of Driscoll during the 1960s and 1970s. Like in many small towns, summer baseball and softball were coached by volunteers. Every coach I ever had worked for the good of helping kids develop their skills and, more importantly, learn the value of teamwork.
Albert Schumacher was one of those special coaches in my life. Albert had a lot going on and was a very busy man, being a rancher and farmer. Yet, he found the time to coach baseball and softball – and he did so for many years.
Albert always had an upbeat attitude and just wanted to help people learn to enjoy the game – win or lose. Now, I wasn’t the greatest player on the team, but Albert would make sure I could go to the games, and he even picked me up a couple of times so I could play. He was just a great guy.
The last time I saw Albert, he was in the Driscoll café, and I wanted to thank him for all he had done for me and for others. But the café was busy, and I thought it would embarrass him, so I decided to let it go and meet with him at another time. I never got that other time. Albert died a few days later, mauled by a cow as he was checking pastures.
At his funeral, the minister said Albert’s grandson told him it was good the cemetery was on the south side of the ball diamonds, so Albert could enjoy the games. Thanks for all you did coach. So long….
Capital Electric Cooperative
NEW WAY TO PLAY
I was fortunate to have three coaches who each influenced my young life. Not only did they teach me to love the game, play hard to win, and accept defeat if you were beaten by a better opponent, but how to carry these lessons into life. I will go with my first coach, John Campbell.
After spending eight years in a one-room country grade school, I came into high school as a country bumpkin. We didn’t have sports back then, but we had recess. Coach Campbell was a “Hoosier.” He brought his family from Indiana, which at that time was the basketball capital of the world. They were playing the game in ways we had not yet seen, like using a full-court pressure defense. Today, it has become part of our game, but then it was new to North Dakota.
He coached to win, practice hard and play fair, and taught me a great love for the game. He did his coaching during the weeks in practice and had you ready to play during game time.
Seldom did he call out from the bench while the game was in progress, but when he did, it was a simple one-word command, and we heard it! He also instilled in us to be as good off the court as we were on it.
His motto was: “For when that one great scorer comes to write against your name, he will write not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”
Roughrider Electric Cooperative
UPCOMING READER REPLY QUESTION:
SEPTEMBER: Share a favorite hunting story!
Deadline for submission: Aug. 12
OCTOBER: What’s your favorite thing about your electric cooperative?
Deadline for submission: Sept. 13
We want to hear FROM you: Submissions should be no more than 250 words, typewritten or in legible handwriting. Include your name, complete address, daytime phone number and the name of the rural electric cooperative to which you belong. Note: Magazine staff reserves the right to make editing changes and cuts. We pay $25 for each letter we print. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to READER REPLY, North Dakota Living, P.O. Box 727, Mandan, ND 58554-0727.