Recreation effort needs good coach

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Coach Terry Moffett doesn’t recall any problems with players in 20-plus years of coaching that couldn’t be resolved in a few seconds.

And, if he ever did encounter a player who couldn’t get along with the other players or couldn’t get along with the coach, well, he had a solution to that, too.

“That player needs to find something else to do,” he said. “Time is too short for that player to be unhappy. He can be doing something else.”

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Though he’s not taking much credit for it, the most recent addition to Moffett’s coaching resume is the Dixie Youth 12-year-old All-Stars’ state championship win and World Series appearance this summer.

The state title was many years in the making, Moffett said.

Moffett and his coaching partners started working with the same group of boys when they were only old enough to play coach-pitch ball.

“We emphasized ‘team’ ever since they were old enough to be in All-Stars,” he said.

And it was teamwork that won the title.

Maybe Moffett can take his lessons off the field and into a few local boardrooms.

No one who has followed local government thought it would be easy to partner the Natchez Board of Aldermen, the Adams County Board of Supervisors and the Natchez-Adams County School Board together to create a much-needed recreation complex.

Moffett’s type of teamwork is something the boards have never completely mastered.

Instead, one player’s problems seem to take up too much time and derail too many plans while the entire group loses sight of the goal.

When it comes to local government, someone always tries to be the star. But Moffett knows how to squelch that behavior too.

“If you can do it by yourself, we are going to let you,” he said. “When you can throw it, go catch it and make the out, go ahead.”

Last week, a few members of the board of supervisors decided that since they couldn’t throw it, catch it and make the out all alone, that they’d let the fly ball just land at their feet. And then they’d kick it.

The county voted to withdraw $11,000 it had already committed to the recreation project just because the city and the school board hadn’t paid their portions.

Apparently, no one on the county board bothered to ask the city, the school board or the county-appointed members of the recreation commission for details.

The city hasn’t been asked for the money yet. The school board is waiting on an attorney’s ruling before committing.

So, after making fools of themselves with a childish vote, the county came back three days later and reversed its motion.

Unsportsmanlike behavior and lack of communication with the team would likely bench a player on Moffett’s team, if the coach kept him around at all.

The goal for the three local boards is clear — build a recreation complex.

Nearly 80 percent of the voters issued the mandate just shy of a year ago. Ignoring that strong request would be a game-losing move.

A few county supervisors have clearly sent the message, by their actions, that they are against spending any money on a recreation complex.

Voters knew this project would cost money. In fact, the referendum on the ballot said, “Do you favor the creation of a consolidated countywide recreation program to be funded by a bond and/or other financial device in an amount to be determined but not to exceed $5,450,000?”

Adams County wants a recreation complex.

And coach Moffett has a good solution for anyone who doesn’t want to play on that team.

Find another team.

Julie Cooper is the managing editor of The Natchez Democrat. She can be reached at 601-445-3551 or