Pollard’s story is quite refreshingPublished 12:01am Sunday, August 21, 2011
When I first met Kevochie Pollard, I quickly knew he was the type that told all the jokes.
Usually when I come to a school to interview a player or coach, I’m the one that has to seek that person out.
Not so with Pollard. I had come to Natchez High School to talk to head coach Lance Reed about something, and was waiting for Reed in the weight room. Pollard noticed my pen and reporter notebook, and came up instantly and started talking to me.
I didn’t even have to ask him a question. He just initiated the interview and started talking football with me in a humorous way. I knew Pollard was just goofing around, but I was actually going to play along with it at first.
Then a current player that was standing a few feet away asked if I could interview him. Bulldogs offensive coordinator Trey Woodard, who was also in the room, quickly pointed out to the player that if the player needed to seek me out, that should tell the player something.
All in all, it was a pretty humorous trip to Natchez High that day.
I later found out that Pollard was actually a graduate assistant coach for the Bulldogs that was spending his summer learning the ins and outs of coaching. I mistook Pollard for a player when I first met him, so when I found out he was a coach, I decided to do a feature story on Pollard after someone recommended the story idea through an email.
Pollard seemed tickled that I actually wanted to do a serious interview with him at first, but when we got into the question-and-answer session, I was very impressed with him. The Southern Mississippi sophomore seemed to have a good head on his shoulders, and sounded very intelligent, especially when it came to football.
Pollard described football as something similar to a complex math equation, and a chess game. Football is a puzzle he wants to solve, Pollard said, and he told me he was looking forward to getting back to NHS to teach and coach.
After all the well-thought-out answers Pollard gave me, I couldn’t let him off so easily. I asked him to either tell me a joke or a funny story from his playing days. He struggled with coming up with a joke, but I did get a nice chuckle after he told me a story of when he bugged powerlifting coach Joseph Johnson a bit too much one day.
The next day, I received an email from Pollard with a joke he thought of: “Why did the chicken cross the road? Because it was standing next to Coach Woodard.” I was quick to include it in the story.
Feature stories are easily my favorite kind of story to write, for this very reason. It’s important to get stories like Pollard’s out so people can see how much of a positive impact athletics has in our community.
After being poured into by the teachers and coaches at NHS, Pollard is on a path where he will pour into future generations as a teacher and coach at NHS — all because of the impact the NHS staff had on him.
In a world where we seem to read about a lot young people ruining their lives, stories like that of Pollard’s are quite refreshing.