BOONE LIFE: Teaching teamwork

Volunteers teach responsibility and sportsmanship to young hockey players
Sunday, September 17, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:02 p.m. CST, Monday, February 9, 2009


Launch Boone Life


Pucks are stacked on Greg Harmon’s desk at his office at Gaslight Properties. Being a real estate agent is his full-time job, but coaching roller hockey for Hallsville’s Twisters Hockey League consumes at least 15 hours of his week.


Nearly 180 kids are involved in the not-for-profit league, which was formed in 1996 by Harmon’s neighbor, John Briggs. The league is run entirely by volunteers, including Harmon. Its goal is to promote sportsmanship, responsibility and teamwork for kids ages 4 to 18.


“It’s a valuable resource for kids,” Harmon said. “It gives them something to do. It’s good, clean fun that teaches them about life and relationships.”


Harmon has been involved with the league since 1997. Gaslight, which Harmon manages, sponsors his team. He started coaching because his twin sons, Bradley and Brian, then 7, became interested in the league. Over the years, he developed a bond with the kids on his team. The players typically stay with a coach for four or five years before moving on to the next division.


Despite the demanding workload of practices, games, board meetings and maintenance on the rink, Harmon said he continues to coach because he feels a sense of responsibility to the kids. “I’m the only coach they’re going to know throughout,” said Harmon, whose youngest son, Blake, is on his division F2 team.


Assistant coach Richard Reuben said Harmon is good at what he does, always pushing the players to try harder but never yelling at them and always concentrating his efforts on teaching kids the game.


“A lot of coaches are in it for themselves,” Reuben said. “But he’s in it for the kids.”


Harmon’s main goal is for all of the players get a chance to play and improve their skills.


“Winning is not what matters to me,” Harmon said. “My kids playing and having a good time is what’s important.”

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