Coach Hester Reflects On the Season

I usually write something like this after our last game every year, but it’s taken me a few days to make sure it all comes out the right way.

First of all, what a crazy year it’s been. Being an AD/Coach during a covid year has been a stressful, learning experience. But as always, the coaching side was very rewarding for me.

As many of you know, this was my first year coaching girls and my first year coaching guys/girls at the same time. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew it would be different. I am very thankful for the opportunity I had to coach all of our kids at RA. To be trusted with both positions seriously means a lot to me. If you make any decisions about who does what at RA, just know that I appreciate you.

I believe there is an expectation for players that put on the red and black from November-March to win and win often. Some people even expect the winning to look a certain way. One thing that I was so impressed with this year is how our kids performed under those expectations. Because let me say this: unless the kids come to work, clock in day after day at practice, remember all sorts of X’s and O’s and offensive/defensive rules, be good teammates, etc., we don’t have the opportunity to win. It doesn’t matter what anyone expects. It’s not easier to win just because we have a certain name across our jersey. But they consistently put in the work and for that, I’m as proud as I can be.

As someone who is inside of the locker rooms/practices, but also gets to watch the kids from the sideline and be their biggest fan every day, I think the actual work that our players put in is overlooked. The winning habits/attitudes that they display are what translates to the next stage of their lives. Not their stats, and not their minutes. Some of the most selfless people I know are between the age of 13-18, because they don’t care about either one.

From a coach’s perspective, I’ve been so extremely proud of our teams this year because of the reasons mentioned above. But what makes my job so enjoyable is how fun they all are to be around. Seeing them joke with one another, but genuinely care for one another (especially when things don’t go our way) is such a cool thing.

I could go on forever about both teams and how they are unique in their own ways, the funny stories we have, etc. But I’d just like everyone to know how proud I am of the kids that represented our school this year. I truly love them to death, and they accomplished a lot:

21-5 Overall Record.
District 4-A Champs.
South-A Regional Champs.
Class A Final Four.

20-3 Overall Record.
Undefeated District 4-A Champs.
South-A Regional Champs.
Class A Runner-Up.
Overall Tournament.

For me, I can’t wait to get back to work and improve in a couple areas. Players win games, and I had a lot of good ones this year. But coaches lose games, and our seasons didn’t end the way we had hoped they would.

Additionally, being selected to coach in an All-Star game, along with being named the District 4-A Coach of the Year for both girls and boys is truly such a blessing. I’m so thankful for this job and everything that comes with it, good and bad.

Finally, a HUGE thank you to Steven Bryant and Rebecca Prosperie for their time and dedication to our kids. As someone who has done what they’re doing, it’s not easy. I appreciate you 2 more than you’ll ever know. Thank you Ms. Nancy Nettles, Mrs. Keri Wilhite, Mrs. Marie Woodard, Mr. Matt Huddleston, my mom Penny Dupree Hays, Mrs. Donna and Mr. Carey Prosperie, Mrs. Stacey Messick Greer, Mr. Danny Rester, and everyone else who served in any type of role to help us this year. Car rides, meals, laundry at hotels, etc. None of it goes unnoticed, and all of it is appreciated. Fans and parents, thank you all for your support.