It’s that time of year once again that we all have an opportunity to be grateful and say thanks. Please allow me once again this opportunity to publicly be Thankful. Have a great Thanksgiving weekend – safe travels to all. Now to the reasons for my gratitude: I have tremendous gratitude for my wife, two stepdaughters and the grandkids (an A.D.’s wife and stepdaughters must be understanding souls, my hours are not family friendly) and my deep appreciation for our service men and women protecting our freedom around the world during these trying times. As Lebanon Athletic Director, the first group that I want to publicly thank is our student-athletes, after all, they are the reason I love my job. The athletes at Lebanon High School are smart, challenging, funny, frustrating, witty, complex, competitive, friendly, and worthy of our effort. I am thankful for all of them and humbled by the opportunity to even attempt to make a difference in their lives. I am thankful for the parents of our athletes. Lebanon parents are supportive with their time, money and emotions. It is clear that they love their children and I am grateful that they entrust us with their most prized possession(s). Special thanks to our parent volunteers who donate time and energy to manning concession stands, helping to run tournaments and be a part of the Lebanon Sports Boosters. I am thankful for our fans, those who do not have children in school but still faithfully back the Tigers year in and year out. I am thankful for our coaches! The job of today’s coaches is more demanding and emotionally draining than any of them could have possibly anticipated when they decided to become a coach. The level of play, the competition and the expectations of a community such as Lebanon is pressure packed. Yet, these men and women meet the challenges on a daily basis with enthusiasm, optimism and pride. They have earned the greatest title on earth . . . “Coach” and I am proud to work with them. They are Simply the Best! I am thankful for Nicole Asbury, the LHS Athletic Administrative Assistant. She is extremely dependable and is responsible for many of the vital “day to day” operations. I thank former Assistant Athletic Director Bob Ross who came out of retirement to once again do what he does best, helping to meet the many needs of our student athletes. He has a “whatever it takes” attitude and is willing to do anything that will make things run more smoothly. Bob was critical to our success and I feel very lucky to have worked with him. I am thankful for Wade Thatcher who creates our athletic programs, assists with technology, covers game management and is always on call to help out at a moment’s notice. Thanks to Patricia Michaels who cleans all of our student athlete’s uniforms. And for Kevin Kays, Jeff Hendricks, James Kiplinger and Mike Wynkoop, our athletic grounds and facility crew for their efforts and contributions to prepare our sports fields for games. To Rob, Nicole S, Brayton, Nicole, Jeff, Hidi, Larry, and the entire custodian crew at LHS, a huge Thank You! I thank Amanda Skobel, LMS AD for all her help and support. Her collaboration has helped all of us achieve success. To John Cline and Geoff Hammons for the everyday electrical work and helping to make my ideas work. I am grateful for Becky, Melissa, Sheila, Dave, and Curt in our transportation office and all the bus drivers for getting us to games and home safely. I am thankful for great teachers & administration at all of our LCSC buildings as well as our School Board & the Central Office Administration & Staff – especially our new Superintendent, Dr. Jon Milleman. I thank Charles Tait, Kelli Starkey, Brittney Robbins and Melissa Moore for helping to keep the finances in order and allowing us to avoid that dreaded “pay to play” and/or “activity fee”. And for always putting the safety of our student athletes and needs first. I thank Chad Martin, Bronsen Smith, Josh Hawks and Michael Staton for their help with our ever changing technology. I thank Director of Guidance Megan Lewis, her Administrative Assistant Anne Helkey and counselors Susan Woosley, Bethany Mineart, and Lorie Schroeder for their academic help and support of our student athletes. I thank Sara VanDokkenburg, Vicki Miler, Lisa Robinson and Jackie McNutt for keeping things running smoothly in the main office and clinic. Ultimately, helping our student athletes achieve success in the classroom and academic arena. I am blessed to work with LHS Principal, Kevin O’Rourke and Assistant Principals Bill Gee and Michael Reynolds. All of these folks are committed to putting children first and frequently have to make the tough decisions that come with all leadership positions. I am thankful for the IHSAA officials who accept our criticism, anger and biased opinions – for very little compensation. I am thankful for our Witham Athletic Trainer Susan Stroud and Witham Sports Medicine for providing our doctors, Dr. Herschell Services, Dr. Michael Hornbecker and Dr. Daniel Kraft. I am thankful for our Strength and Conditioning Coach Jacob Turner. I am thankful for our event workers – ticket takers, bench officials, concession workers, etc. – under paid but dependable and superb people that are dedicated and committed – regardless of the rain, cold, heat, snow or high wind. I thank Aramark, all their workers, for our food services, especially Terri, Precilla and Jennifer. I thank the LCSC SRO’s especially Craig Richey at LHS and Chief of LCSC Police, Steve Smith along with all LPD for providing security at athletic events and keeping us all safe. I am thankful for the press and media who work so hard to honor and recognize our student athlete’s achievements. I thank Scott Carney from Radio Mom and Will Willems from the Lebanon Reporter. I am thankful for our Sponsors and Lebanon Sports Boosters. Without their (your) generosity, we would not be able to operate our athletic program. Gate receipts along with the donations we receive from fans and sponsorship are the life blood of the LHS Athletic Department. I thank Booster President Dee Hood and treasurer Natalie Parks along with the rest of the board and booster members. I am grateful for our opponents, especially those in the Sagamore Conference and Boone County. The A.D.’s, Coaches and Athletes that we compete against are first class and I love our relationship! And in conclusion, I am most grateful for the Lebanon Community. There it is; I am sure I have forgotten someone – if it is you, I apologize and want you to know that I am thankful for you too! Have a Happy Thanksgiving Day – I suspect you have much to be grateful for as well! TIGER PRIDE!
Phil Levine CAA
Athletic Director/Assistant Principal