There are many problems in the world of sports.
Professional hockey didn’t even get to the ice before their season was canceled. Major League Baseball is clouded with controversy with steroids front row and center and the season hasn’t even begun.
And there is the National Basketball Association where Kobe Bryan buys his way out of trouble, star players are firing up shots without a conscience and games are not exactly thrilling to watch when the defense goes south. There is controversy surrounding the college ranks when coaches send out thugs to hurt other basketball players and girls are bullied and used as sex objects on the campus at Colorado and somehow the coach still keeps his job.
But every once in a while there is a feel good story and it couldn’t have been more evident and needed at Tooele High than this winter.
Gary Alverson suffered through grueling chemotherapy treatments and still maintained enough energy and courage to run a practice later in the day. The Buff squad rallied around their field general and stayed the course, believing in their team and coach in spite of a few setbacks along the way.
Tooele was even picked to finish fifth in their league and figured the longest of shots to run the table and capture an elusive title that the school had not brought home in over nine decades.
Although set up to fail all year long, Coach Aversion believed in his troops and his faith in the players and his system never wavered. Those positive traits proved to be the spring board for success when this team wasn’t even given a chance.
Not only did the Buffs rally around their coach, the players continued to reinforce his basketball coaching prowess with late game heroics against talented foes in Ben Loomed and Bear River.
Still, Tooele was picked the last team expected to run the table at the talented Class 3A State Boys Basketball tournament.
But one by one Coach Aversion conveyed his steady poise and confidence in the team night-after-night and the Buffs followed suit with victories over Dixie, third-ranked Snow Canyon and second-ranked and two-time defending state champion Wasatch.
There is no question that talent can win games. But when there is belief and an all-forone mentality, Coach Alverson and the Buffs proved that a total team effort can overcome talented teams and individuals.
With all the turmoil and controversy surrounding sports these days, this has been a breath of fresh air for those sports fantatics.
Indeed our prayers are with Coach Alverson and his family, but those fortunate fans that were able to venture to the E-Center last month were privileged to witness a once-in-alifetime hardwood miracle.
Coach Alverson was rewarded Tuesday as the Coach of the Year. but in my mind, he is the Coach of the Century because he proved that when you never give up, regardless of the odds or adversity, that as long as you stay together you can beat and achieve anything.