Jared Lankford: Jewels in the movement

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Like most items, wrist watch value is not determined on outward appearance, but the quality of the inner workings.

Lankford

In general, the higher the quality, such as natural rubies being used as bearings, mean more zeros in the price tag of a piece.

Generally, the average person only cares if a watch is functional, but as any jeweler will tell you, it is what under that surface that determines the true value of an item.

Last week, I was honored to sit at the scorerís table for four nights of the Southwest Holiday Tournament.

The tournament went off without a hitch. The Wheaton girls and East Newton boys basketball teams left with first-place hardware. Games ran on time and hundreds of fans were entertained by the 16-team field.

A smoothly run tournament is no accident. It takes an army of people, a ton of coordination, patience and resolve to pull off the feat.

For nearly a decade, Iíve watched and witnessed how the tournament is prepped and run. To most fans, the nuance of tournament planning and execution is overlooked. The only time things are questioned or noticed is when something goes wrong.

Tosha Tilford, Southwest superintendent; Eric Roller, Southwest principal; Kenny Ferguson, Southwest athletic director; Rusty Roe, Trojans head coach; and Darrel Tilford, Lady Trojans head coach, all deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the efficient nature in which the tournament flowed.

All five were visible and approachable at the event. Every issue that was presented, from refilling teamís water coolers, getting ice for injured players or simply mopping up spilled water, was immediately addressed by the individuals with no tasked deemed too menial for these servant leaders.

I would be proud to have a child educated in a district with that type of example being set.

Jamie and Peggy Shrum spent nearly 30 hours at the scorerís table keeping the official book and running the clock. Iíve worked with several official scorers in my time and they are as professional and helpful as any of them. The amazing fact about the husband and wife duo is the fact that they continue to give back to the school and its students even after their own children have graduated from the district. That is indeed a rare quality. Credit also goes to Tony Eagleburger who kept things moving at the junior high gym as well.

The Class of 2019 ran the concession stand and Steve Voyak, volleyball coach, had the lines moving with precision efficiency to get fans back in their seats before before action resumed on the court.

If youíve met me, you know that Iím a fan of culinary creations. As part of the tournament staff and by the nature of my professional work, the most sacred of rooms and a large reason why many attend is the hospitality room the district provides.

It is no small task to feed all the coaches, administrators and media that attend the event. The Southwest Athletic Booster Club, along with everyone mentioned all pitched in to ensure that this year was a success in that area as well.

Plans are already in motion for the 2019 slate, along with a couple of tweaks to the schedule.

For some people, owning a Rolex is a status symbol of having something of value. We are lucky to have such a valuable tournament that moves so seemingly effortlessly due to the hard work and long hours of so many volunteers.

They are the true tournament MYPs.

Jared Lankford is the sports editor of the Cassville Democrat. he may be reached at sports@cassville-democrat.com or by calling 417-847-2610.

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