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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

A different mission

Friday, November 1, 2019

A few weeks ago, I wrote about University of Arkansas football coach Chad Morris, and my belief that itís time for the university to let Morris go and move in a new direction.

College football is a business, in many ways much more than it is a game. Morris is paid millions of dollars for one primary mission: to win football games.

Having said that, Iíd like to talk about two local high school coaches ó Berryvilleís Doug Shott and Green Forestís Bobby Bishop.

Neither Shott nor Bishop have been very successful in terms of winning football games: Berryville is 7-21 under Shott, while Green Forest is 10-38 in Bishopís time as head coach.

Does that mean I believe either coach has failed? Absolutely not. Everything about high school football ó especially in Carroll County ó is different than major-college football.

Sure, it would be great if Berryville and Green Forest were conference championship contenders and in the state playoffs every year. But Shott and Bishop arenít being paid millions of dollars, and their mission is completely different than Chad Morrisí.

For a high school football coach, the primary goal should be to help develop young men into responsible, productive members of society ó to teach them the value of hard work, accountability, sacrifice, teamwork. How to handle success and even more importantly, how to handle failure.

I talk to both these coaches every week. More often than not, weíre talking about games that their teams just lost and games that they are probably about to lose. I canít imagine how stressful that has to be, because thereís no doubt that both of these coaches would love to win football games. Still, every week both Shott and Bishop are polite, honest and friendly. Over and over, they talk about the quality of young men on the Berryville and Green Forest rosters. They talk about the importance of continuing to show up and work as hard as possible, no matter how big the challenge. Iím convinced that they understand and embrace their real mission.

Maybe, the Bobcats and Tigers will eventually become winning teams. Frankly, itís an uphill climb, for a number of reasons. But even if that never happens, a whole lot of good can come from both these programs and Shott and Bishop deserve some applause for their hard work.