Friday, September 24, 2010

Hannan Pride

Where does your pride come from? Are you proud of where you are from? Are you proud of the accomplishments you've had or things you've been privileged to be a part of? I know that I am.

I grew up in Glenwood, West Virginia in Mason County. I attended and graduated from Hannan High School in Ashton, WV. Hannan is located out in the hills and valley's of southern mason county and is a small rural school made up of jr/sr high students with an enrollment of around 250 7th-12th grades.

Hannan is sometimes forgotten maybe due to it's location or size. Many people living in nearby counties have never even heard of Hannan or where it's located. Even in our own county, sometimes Hannan is treated like the red-headed step-child often in the shadows of other county schools. However, I am not complaining and we are not victims, it's just reality, it happens in life.

Hannan has often struggled in sports because they simply do not have the numbers and resources to compete. In 90 years of existence, there probably have been few winning seasons and the football team has never went to the playoffs and the basketball team has made the state tournament only once in 2001 for the first time, with 7 players mind you.

Yet, despite the lack of success on the court or field, many students have excelled in the classroom. I remember not always having the chance to take all the classes i wanted, when your school is small they can't offer too many special elective classes, or the same class multiple times. I remember not being able to take driver's ed because I went to vocational school and it was only offered in the morning while I was at Vo-tech.

However, I do remember my 9th grade year we had a winning record in jr. high football, we were 5-1-1 i believe. I can remember getting in the game for 3 plays and making 3 tackles and I got to start the next week because of that. I also remember my Sr. year we were 1-9 and we got blown out by teams much better than us, I bet 6 of our 10 games were against teams rated in the top 10 in WV and Ohio. We did play the #2 team and #4 team in the state. No one likes to lose, or lose handily, but I will also say I love the memories i have of that experience.

My senior year in basketball though I did not play, our team broke the school record for wins and won the sectional tournament for the first time in school history. That was fun to cheer them on. The girls team also won the sectional that year. We have had some good athletes at Hannan. We have also had some Hannan alums go on to do great things beyond college and become successful people. In my class alone it seems we have many successful business owners, salesman, and a lawyer to name a few. Success is not just defined in degrees, titles, and money. It's also defined in character, attitude, and heart. How successful you are as a human being, a parent, and a spouse.

I may have not gotten to take all the classes I wanted, but at Hannan I got an education(to be honest I didn't apply myself like I should have), and any troubles I had in college was my own fault for lack of discipline and effort(I got that in the military). I may not be a great athlete and there were times I sat the bench at Hannan if that tells you what a great athelete I was, but I made friendships, and have fond memories, and was able to be a part of something special.

Hannan is like any other school it is not perfect, it has a few negative parents, students, and problems. Sometimes Hannan gets a bad stereotype and I'll be honest I've sat and listened to people at ball games and things over the years and been frustrated with some of the ignorance, but you have that everywhere, Hannan doesn't have the market on ignorant or uneducated people. However, there are also some of the most loyal, giving, and caring people in that community.

I am proud of Hannan High School. I am proud to be an alumni of Hannan High school. I am proud that my stepson goes to Hannan and that I'm volunteering to help with the athletic boosters. I want to be a positive part of the community and school. The more positive influences we have, the more positive people we have involved, the less of a voice the negative people have. The more we educate people and support our school and students, the better the environment and culture becomes.

I would not trade my education and experience at Hannan High school for anything. I also will not stand by and allow people to trash my school or stereotype it unfairly. We need pride. We need to support our teachers, our school, our community, and most of all our kids. They deserve to have the best in education, athletics, and support. I expect other schools to get more because they are bigger and have more students, but Hannan also deserves to have quality and the best as well for the amount of students they have.

They also deserve our support and commitment as parents, fans, alumni, and members of the community. Our kids need to feel a sense of pride and they also need to be taught by example from us adults how to be committed and not to blame everyone and everything for losing, or mistakes, or failures. To accept responsiblity for our actions and to stay committed even when the road gets rough.

I think the most important thing we want is a place where I kids can learn, grow, mature, and build healthy relationships. A place where they can get an education and play athletics and I think the more Hannan gets and the more people support and help the more competive we can become, but it takes time, commitment, loyalty, and honesty.

I am proud of Hannan and I hope you will share in that pride with me and if you're not from Hannan, whatever school you are from or your kids go to, I pray you will be supportive and take pride in your school, community, and students.

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