Marble Falls makes a great first impression

First impressions mean everything. The new sports editor and school news reporter for The Highlander hopes to make a good one with the community. Learn more about his background in his introductory column.

 

 

 

By Nathan Hendrix
Sports Editor

They say first impressions are the most lasting, and judging by the rst glimpse I have received of the character of Marble Falls, this community believes that to be true.

It’s been a little more than a week since I started my work as the sports editor for The Highlander, and I’ve already learned some things about the Marble Falls community. Everyone I’ve interacted with, from school administration and coaches to sports fans, has been welcoming, and I truly appreciate the warmth.

I’ve been watching and following sports since I was a child, and all of the things that I love about sports are represented in Marble Falls. I am thrilled by competition and a competitive spirit, and that was on full display at the boys’ basketball game against Pflugerville last week.

Although the boys didn’t complete the comeback against the Panthers, their fight was inspiring. I knew immediately that I was going to enjoy covering Mustangs sports. Add a very good soccer team to the mix and I’m sometimes surprised I get paid to do this.

I attended the University of Central Florida (go Knights!) so I’m intimately familiar with the fighting spirit of a team that’s down. In my sophomore year, the Knights football team went 0-12. Anyone that follows college football knows what the program has become in the last three seasons.

Also in attendance at the Mustangs/Panthers game were the children of the Boys & Girls Club of the Highland Lakes. I talked with the administration of the Marble Falls unit earlier that week with the intent of providing an update on the food service issue the Club is currently facing.

However, I unearthed a different story. Although the problem persisted, the community of Marble Falls had really stepped up to fill a need. I was moved by the contributions of individuals and local businesses to support a worthy cause. Tickets to the basketball game were the icing on the cake.

The Mustang players met with the children after the game as role models, and that’s exactly the impact athletes should have on fans, especially young fans.

Too often today, high-pro le athletes are not individuals our young people can look up to. There will always be the argument that they were never meant to be role models, and I accept that opinion. However, just because you aren’t meant to be a role model in your position doesn’t mean you don’t have the choice to be one. Sports should play a unifying role in our society in an increasingly divisive atmosphere.

Lastly, I appreciated the emphasis on the importance of Veterans Day by the Marble Falls ISD school board members at the board meeting earlier this week. Board members argued that students should either get the day off or receive a curriculum tailored to stressing the importance of the holiday.

I served more than seven years in the United States Army as a Korean linguist, and I deployed to Iraq in 2009 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I certainly don’t feel like I’m deserving of any special treatment or a day in my honor, but seeing a school board concerned about teaching young people the significance of the holiday was a welcome sight.

Thank you to everyone I’ve met with thus far. You have made it clear that I am going to enjoy covering sports in Marble Falls. I hope your first impression of me was equally as stimulating. I look forward to continuing my work with the coaches and providing coverage of sporting events to the Mustang fans.

Nathan covers Marble Falls Independent School District and Faith Academy sports, youth extra-curricular activities, MFISD school news and community features. Send him a note at nathan@highlandernews.com.

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