Sometimes I see something or hear something that sparks a thought. And then the thought won’t leave me alone until I write it down.
So basically I don’t choose the topic. The topic chooses me.
Such is the case this week.
Youth sports are now and have always been a huge part of the culture in Cherokee County.
I began playing youth sports in the late ‘60s and continued through the mid ‘70s.
I spent about seven years in youth football and eight years in youth baseball. It was a different time back then. That was about the extent of formal entertainment for most kids my age.
It would be impossible to have a thorough discussion about youth sports in Cherokee County without mentioning the name Ty Adams Sr.
Ty and his wife Betty gave countless hours to the youth of Cherokee County through the various sports programs the county offered.
Their children were also active participants in sports for as long as I can remember. And it always seemed to me that whatever sport they played, they were good at.
But being the coach’s son did not give those boys a free pass. If anything, Ty was probably tougher on them than he was the rest of us.
But the Adams family could always be found on the field or on the court during the appropriate season.
Some might wonder why a couple would spend so many hours with their children in the sports arena.
Was it for them to become professional athletes? I don’t think so. Even though all of their boys, and grandchildren for that matter, are very talented and athletic, none of them ever became professionals.
No, Ty and Betty did it for a different reason I am sure. And by the way, I am only referring to them as Ty and Betty for the purposes of this column. If I ran in to them it would be Mr. and Mrs. Adams.
Several times over the past few months I have had the privilege to spend time with the Adams on the golf course.
Ty has some very well behaved kids and grandkids.
I have never seen any of them do anything that would make any parent ashamed. And if anything in the world can make the good go bad it is golf. But you never see them being anything but polite and respectful.
On several occasions over the past few months I have heard several people say this about Ty’s kids and grandkids, “Them boys were raised right.” I have heard it from several different people on several different occasions.
So it began to make sense to me. I understood why Ty and Betty spent so many hours with their children while involved in sports.
It was so they would learn discipline and grow up to be productive members of society. It was to ensure that their children would be people that others would want to socialize with. They were teaching them to be men.
Ty and Betty may not be as active as they once were in the sporting community. They did their time. They can now sit back and admire their children and grandchildren as they continue to succeed in life.
This success is in part to the many years being coached by their parents in sports and in life.
I understand that Ty and Betty have made great friends with our friends from the North Pole, Mr. and Mrs. Claus. It’s another chapter in their life while continuing to bring joy to the children in our community.
I can’t tell you if Ty and Betty have been recognized for their accomplishments or not. Because I don’t know.
But if they haven’t, they should have been. If they haven’t, I hope this in some way lets them know that their accomplishments were not in vain. Whether a son or a daughter, they did well.
Ty and Betty, you have done much for the youth of Cherokee County. And as one of your former players, I say thank you on behalf of all of your former players.
But the greatest reward you will ever receive in life is this.
When you are not even around, many people look at your children and grandchildren and say, “Them boys were raised right.”
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.