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Volunteer park and rec coaches honored

POSTED: February 6, 2013 4:00 a.m.
David Renner Dawson Community News/

Dawson County Parks and Recreation Athletic Director Zak Moore, left, presents Mark Anglin with the Lombardi Coach’s Award.

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Dawson County Parks and Recreation held its annual Volunteer Coaches Appreciation Banquet last week at Rock Creek Sports Complex.

The ceremony, now in its fifth year, aims to honor the achievements of the volunteers that make the programs offered by parks and recreation successful.

"This banquet is to recognize all of the volunteers that we have for Dawson County Parks and Recreation," said Lisa Henson, parks and recreation director for Dawson County.

"All of you are deeply rooted in this community and the services that you give to these kids of Dawson County. We appreciate it so much. We could not do our job without you."

According to Dawson County Parks and Recreation Athletic Director Zak Moore, the banquet is only a small token of appreciation compared to what the volunteers deserve.

"I love having this banquet because I love seeing everyone in one place and becoming a better community," he said. "It's not near what they deserve. The time they put in with the kids - the countless hours - we just can't thank [the coaches] enough."

Special guests Dawson County High Schools varsity basketball coaches Steve Sweat and Thad Burgess spoke at the banquet about the important role the volunteers play in the future of the county's sports programs.

"I admire every single one of you who coaches these children. I admire what you do," said Sweat.

"These kids watch every single thing you do, whether you notice it or not. Once you put on that shirt with ‘coach' written across it in big letters, you become everyone's target. You are supposed to have all the answers for everyone, even if it's not your sport or team playing. You are the coach."

According to Henson, some coaches that received awards have been volunteering their time for more than 10 to 15 years at the park. Some current and former coaches, such as Dawson County Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond and board of education member Roger Slaton, have awards named in their honor.

"A couple of the awards given out are named for our longtime volunteers and the time they've put in for the kids," Henson said.

Moore thanked the coaches for their work.

"The kids will remember who their coach was. I remember all of mine. I remember more about what I've learned about the game and life lessons than whether or not I won the game," said Moore.

"I learned valuable life lessons from my coaches. I just wanted to thank each and every coach for what they do. We need you a lot more than any of you need us."

After the awards were given to the coaches, one final honor was awarded.

Ballots were distributed online and at the event for those involved with the local parks and recreation department to cast their ballots for the Lombardi Award. The award stays in the lobby of the Rock Creek Sports Complex.

This year's winner was coach Mark Anglin.

"This award speaks volumes, not only for the receiving coach, but about the respect gained from the team and the community that voted for the recipient," Moore said.

Anglin joins past winners; such as Danny Pruitt, Josh Watson and Russell Burt.


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