Passion is one of the words that comes to mind when I think of Jed Lacey.
He did everything with gusto and an all-in approach that was contagious and made you believe you could do what he expected.
It’s probably what made him an unforgettable coach, teacher and person.
I met him several years ago when I was a sports reporter for the then-Dawson News & Advertiser.
Jed immediately became one of my favorite coaches to work with; he actually made me look forward to soccer season, even if I was standing on the sidelines in the cold.
“Baby!” was the way he normally greeted me and pretty much everyone.
I can remember that throaty greeting on my phone as he called in scores and reports on away games from the bus to me, often on Sundays.
He wanted to make sure his kids – and they all were “his kids” – were in the paper and got the recognition they deserved.
He would talk about his kids with so much pride and praise their efforts, even if they lost.
His larger than life personality was focused on building people up, not tearing them down.
There was even a time or two, Jed would ask if I could include some players who may not have gotten much time on the field in the article, just to help boost their self-esteem.
“I think it will help them,” he would tell me. “Leave out any quotes from me if you need room. It’s not about me. It’s about the kids.”
Just as he was quick to build up his kids, he did the same with me.
Jed was quick to call to tell me how much he appreciated the way I wrote a story, the photos I used, or just me being on the sidelines.
The legacy that Jed left behind was one of compassion, encouragement
and helping others be their best. Dawson County High School lost a big part of
its heart this weekend but what a legacy Jed Lacey left behind.
Columnist and former sports reporter