Medley, Harp address kickoff event
Well over 300 Blue Devil fans attended the inaugural “We Are Lebanon” rally Thursday night just outside Watkins Stadium on the campus of Lebanon High School.
Hosted by the Lebanon Blue Devil Football Foundation, the free event featured food, t-shirts, door prizes and an inspirational message from former LHS head coach Mark Medley.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout and the overall support,” said Taylor Vandever, president of the LBDFF. “We really didn’t know what to expect, crowd wise, but we had plenty of food, Party Providers supplied the tables and chairs -- everyone pitched in to help make this night special.”
Sporting sunglasses for most of his 25-minutes on the podium due to facing the setting sun, Medley spoke of his seven-year run at Lebanon, not so much of victories and trips to the playoffs, but of relationships built both on and off the field.
“Make no mistake about it,” Medley said, “my coaches and I had the support of the administration, the faculty, the kids in the school and the community.
“Coach Harp and his coaches deserve nothing less. He’s earning that support every day.”
Medley went on to recognize his former players, a handful of whom were in attendance, his former assistant coaches as well as several longtime supporters.
Medley went out of his way to thank his predecessor at LHS, Ed Sheley, who he credited with paving the way for his successful seven-year stretch with the Blue Devil program.
“Coach Sheley converted the old shop into a weight room, instilled discipline and a work ethic for this program,” Medley said, “his efforts made it possible for us to come in and reap the benefits.”
Coach Harp took the podium after Medley and declared the program, “is headed in the right direction.
“I believe that we are much further along as a program than we were last year.
“That may not show up on the scoreboard as far as wins and loses, I feel like it will -- but the process is a day to day thing.
“We have to learn how to win every day. I’m not just talking about on the field Friday night, I’m talking about in the classroom, out in the community, at home -- everything you do.
“I feel good about the direction this program is headed.
“Building a program takes time and sustaining it is even tougher.
“Folks in the community, the school, the administration, the faculty, the parents -- they all have to buy in. If one segment doesn’t that put doubts in everyone else's mind.
“We’re still trying to weed out the players who are not buying in. It’s a day to day process and we had one leave us today. We’re going to do things the right way, go back to the days Coach Medley talked about and earn that respect again.
“I think its coming. We’ve got a solid group of young men, they’re hard workers and I think you’ll be proud of all of them.”
Lebanon opens the 2104 season on the road at Mt. Juliet High Friday, Aug. 22.
Contact Tommy Bryan -- firstname.lastname@example.org