This week Justin Hemphill reported to Nuclear Sub School in the United States Navy.
I received this email from Justin’s mom last week….
“Mary, Justin’s Mom… I had a conversation with Justin one day after he went running. We were driving up a hill where he had run just hours before, (preparing for Navy PT)…. I was telling him how hard that Hill was for me to walk up, and that I just don’t feel like I can make it sometimes. He said, “I know I can do it, when I get to that point, I hear Coach Floyd in my head telling me my body can do it, I hear ‘You Can Do More’, and I know I can get through it.” That was an ah-ha moment for me! Thank You! I stopped worrying at that moment about Justin making it through Boot Camp!”
Justin played three years for me at Truman High School. He did everything right (see post Do Things Right) in our program…. worked extremely hard in the offseason… came to all of the summer workouts… I don’t think he ever missed or was late to a practice… did well in school… and was never in trouble.
Justin Hemphill played JV his sophomore year, and his junior season was on all of our varsity special teams. He was a very important part of our District Championship that year. He never started a game… he was a backup QB and DB. He was one of those players that, as coaches, you are always trying to find the right position for him to get on the field. We probably could have done a better job of that with Justin.
He worked very hard in the off-season and during the summer before his senior year. Justin was one of our strongest players pound for pound (see post Pound for Pound). We moved Justin to LB, and although he did play some for us there, his role was still pretty much as a special team player. He never groused or complained about playing time… just continued to work hard and be a great “team player.”
We all have “Justins” in our programs. In fact, we have far more players like Justin in our programs than the ones at the other ends of the spectrum… the “big time” players who are making all the headlines and plan on getting DI scholarship, or the others who are making headlines because they are in trouble. As with many things, it is often the minorities at the extremes that get all the attention, while the majority… the “Justins”… the ones that are doing everything right, all of the time, plug away in anonymity and obscurity… not often (or ever) in the spotlight… just working, learning and being great team players.
We can’t forget about the “Justins”… they often are products of our best work.
I am so proud of Justin Hemphill… so proud that he was part of my program and my life. I will also be able to feel very secure knowing that he will soon join his new team defending not a goal line, but our country.
Thank you, Justin!
Thanks again to PrepsKC for running this column both online and in their weekly print magazine. If you get a chance to go and visit their site and “Like” this post, I would appreciate it!
You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you.. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – email@example.com