Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 17, 2017

Parents ask for coach to return

By Xiomara Levsen | May 09, 2017
Highland senior Trent Lasek spoke on behalf of the Highland boys’ basketball team about head coach Marcus Hall’s contract possibly not being renewed for next year. Lasek said he wouldn’t be the person he is today if it weren’t for Hall’s guidance on and off the court.


RIVERSIDE – The boardroom for the Highland School Board meeting Monday evening was full of concerned athletes and parents.

They were there to speak out against the possibility of boys’ basketball coach Marcus Hall not returning next year. His contract hasn’t been renewed by the administration yet and there is a question as to whether it will be.

Trent Lasek, a senior, who has played for Hall for four years said he was at the board meeting Monday night to let the board know the impact Hall had on the team and the community.

“If there is one person that should never have their character come into question, it is our coach,” Lasek said. “He has taught us numerous lessons, taught us to become better players and more importantly to become men.”

Lasek has known Hall since seventh grade and said you wouldn’t find a more dedicated coach. He would open the gym for any of the players to practice and has given up his personal time to help his players.

“My freshmen year of basketball we had our morning practice at 6:30 a.m. and I slept through my alarm clock and was late,” Lasek said. “The moment coach saw me walk through the door he blew his whistle and said everyone get on the baseline. While I cannot recall how much running we did I can recall I was never late to a practice again. That taught me to be responsible and accountable for my actions.”

Lasek also spoke about the rule Hall established this year of not cussing. If a player did, they would have to do 10 pushups. This transferred to the court.

Lasek also said during the Wapello game this year Hall told him if he was acting out negatively against the officials Lasek would sit on the bench. Lasek thought he was bluffing, got upset with a call and sat on the bench for the rest of the first quarter.

“There it taught me the respect factor,” Lasek said. “Not only for the coach, but with officials as well.”

Lasek told the board Hall taught the players accountability and respect on and off the court.

Ryan Burton, whose son Billy is a senior and played for Hall, spoke about what Billy gained from playing for Hall.

“I have a son who couldn’t wait to play for him in seventh and eighth grade and he’s enjoyed all four years that he has played for him,” Ryan said. “I’ve got another son, he’s a sophomore, that Marcus actually called him and asked him to play. He wasn’t going to do it but he decided that since Marcus was coach he was going to give him the opportunity [to be his coach].”

Hall was already working on summer camps and getting summer leagues established for the players to get better, Ryan said. Hall also stressed education to his players and didn’t penalize them if they had to miss practice to get caught up on homework.

Ryan also told the board Hall knew every one of his players personally and had a story to tell about each of them at the end of the year banquet. He said it was a shame none of the administration came to that because they would see how much Hall cared about his players and they care about him.

“I’ve got 30 kids standing behind me looking for their coach to come back,” Ryan said. “Am I wrong? This is nuts, guys.”

Several other parents and players spoke out on Hall’s behalf during the visitor’s portion of the meeting, which lasted for half an hour.

At the end of the meeting before the board went to closed session board member Nate Robinson addressed what he heard from everyone. He thanked everyone for coming and saw how the players felt about their coach.

“It feels like a mistake has been made,” Robinson said.

Highland superintendent Chris Armstrong said the district is working on the coaching situation.

“Your voices have been heard,” Armstrong added, “but no decisions have been made at this point.”




Comments (1)
Posted by: Angie Lasek | May 09, 2017 12:38

Great article, Xiomara Levsen !

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