Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Opinion

April 21, 2014

TVCC’s Lovato proves success breeds champions

Athens — Tuesday night was another special night for the athletic program at Trinity Valley Community College.

It wasn’t a night where a team finished out another amazing season, but one of celebration for a team fans across Henderson County have come to love during the basketball season.

The Celebrate 8 ceremony for the TVCC Lady Cardinals was held at Cardinal Gym to recognize a team that has accomplished a history-making feat most teams could only dream of.

That feat was the fact they had won the school’s eighth title and their third straight National Junior College Athletic Association national title. A feat which has never been done by a NJCAA, Division I program before.

Fans in attendance had the chance to show their appreciation for eight sophomores who lost only two games during their time at TVCC.

Those sophomores are Roddricka Patton, Adut Bulgak, Shlonte’ Allen, Julianne Anchling, Coco Baker, Deborah Meeks, Kyhonta Doughty and Dominique Brooks. Baker and Meeks joined the Lady Cardinals this year as TVCC finished 36-1 overall.

I must say the ceremony was put together amazingly by sports information director Benny Rogers.

The work put in by the Information Technology department in webcasting the event was special for everyone involved.

I had to agree when Benny introduced Elena Lovato as the best coach in the land prior to her speech to the crowd in attendance.

Lovato has put together a record of 113-8 during her tenure at TVCC. She is the Spalding NJCAA, Division I coach of the year, and one of the nicest coaches I have ever had the chance to talk to during my career.

Lovato makes sure everyone she meets receives a hug, and is loved when they step foot on the Trinity Valley campus. She is a coach who puts her players first above herself to make sure they get the best education at the Valley.

During the past two national tournament media days I have been a part of at the college, Lovato wanted to make sure we talked with as many of the players as we could before she would talk with the media.

It wasn’t due to the fact that she did not want to do it, but she makes sure the student athletes are recognized for their accomplishments first, and does not take all of the credit.

Prior to the ceremony on Tuesday, I asked Lovato on Monday what it meant to lose a coaching legend she had been with during her coaching career.

The Trinity Valley family lost coach Joe Curl on Monday, as he passed away from congestive heart failure.

According to the TVCC website, before arriving at TVCC for her first tenure, she was an assistant at the University of Houston on Curl’s staff in 2008-09.

While I could not get her comment in time for my story to be published, I thought Lovato showed how much Curl meant to her with the following quote, and I wanted to share it.

Lovato said, “Coach Curl leaves behind an enormous footprint – a legacy of teaching and coaching the game that he loved so dearly ­– basketball! As one of his former assistants, I can attest that his spirit still looms large over my own life.  If there was one thing that I took away from my experience while coaching with him, it was this: "The price of greatness is responsibility"- not just his favorite quote - it was his way of life! Joe Curl was more than just a boss.... He was a friend, a mentor, a nurturing father figure who truly cared about me. Coach Curl was a HUGE blessing in my life, and I pray that his soul rests easy with the Angels above. The Lady Cardinal program was pioneered by some of the best EVER... And now we are so very fortunate to have guardian angels like coach Curl, coach (Kurt) Budke, and Miranda Serna looking over us!”

Lovato is the living embodiment of this statement, because she makes sure she is a friend and mentor to every athlete who steps foot at the Valley.

When she lays down a challenge to her players, she makes sure it is followed, and the success shows every night her teams step out on the court.

That is what makes my job so fun, is to see how passionate she is for the game of basketball. She made sure to thank every single fan, administrator, cheerleaders, band members, drill team and members of the media in attendance at the ceremony.

Fans of Lady Cardinal basketball are privileged to have such a professional representing Henderson County and the tradition of Lady Cardinal basketball.

Joe Elerson is the sports writer for the Athens Review. He can be reached at sportseditor@athensreview.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Wilson mug.JPG Rolling into something new

    She did it.
    My baby girl rolled over for the first time this past week while daddy and mommy were watching closely.
    As other major news broke across the county, watching my baby roll over for the first time was by far the biggest news of the week for me. Odd.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe new mug.jpg Fanfare is a time to prepare for another season

    I love to see the talent our student athletes have across Henderson County. To know that each player puts in the blood, sweat and tears to play for a district championship and hopefully a state title is something special to see.
    Another great in the world of sports is a player who is retiring this season in New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
    Jeter once said, “There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do — and I believe that.”

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • kathi New  copy.jpeg The greatest country in the world has hungry children

    No child should go hungry. We are the greatest country in the world, yet we have hungry children.
    An article I recently read said that if a child in school can't afford lunch, they will be given a sandwich and water. I was told the sandwich is cheese between two pieces of bread.
    I hope everyone realizes that is what they serve in the county jail. Not that I know this from personal experience. I was told from someone who did know from experience.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Hakuna Matata, what a wonderful phrase

    Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase.
    Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze.
    It means no worries for the rest of your days.
    It's our problem-free philosophy.
    Hakuna Matata!
    Congratulations, if you have watched the Lion King a couple of times you now have this song stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg It was a week in the depth of heat, then cooler

    Sunday and Monday of this week have been very uncomfortable.  The air conditioner at our house has been down, and the temperature outside and in the house have been way up.
    Thank God for the blessing of the cool temperatures and the rain that fell on Tuesday, then on Wednesday.  It changed things just a little bit.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Time away is necessary for everyone

    I can remember as a kid writing essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” As the years pass, and we are more in-tune with the workplace, those vacations get shorter and shorter.
    Do you ever have those days  when you just need a vacation? Sometimes you just need to get away.
    Taking time off work should be fun and rejuvenating. We all need a recharge every now and then. But vacations aren't what they use to be. We rarely disconnect ourselves from our jobs.

    July 12, 2014

  • Joe new mug.jpg Student athletes: Time to wake up and get to work

    Hey student athletes, it is about time for you to wake up and get to work.
    Your summer is coming to an end, and the early morning wake up calls for practices are right around the corner.
    I am talking to the football players, volleyball players, cross country kids, band members, drill team members and cheerleaders.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson mug.JPG Remember who you are

    Are you running so fast that you have forgotten why you started the race in the first place?
    Life moving at a blistering pace that it is tough to keep up?
    Maybe it is time to stop, take a deep look into the pool of water and remember. Remember who you are.
    On numerous occasions, I have had to do just that. Ironically, various movies have caused me to look inside.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff's mug.jpg CSUMC provided a memorable experience

    My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.
    I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.

    July 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rich mug.jpg Independence ultimately won on battlefield

    I always enjoy celebrating Independence Day, and hearing some of the stirring words written in the Declaration of Independence.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote that our Creator has given us certain rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The way I see it, if I have life and liberty, that gives me a pretty good start on the third one.
    But as eloquent as our founding fathers were, and how moving the texts they left behind, one fact can’t be overlooked. Our independence was ultimately won and secured on the battlefield.

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo

Biz Marquee
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive