Tip of the cap to long time Lycoming College Head Football Coach Frank Girardi. The gentleman responsible for building Lyco into a D-III national football power received the phone call he has been elected into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Coach ‘G’ is how I, and so many, have respectfully known and addressed the legendary football coach for as long as I can remember. Much will be written and talked about in regards to his wins, all the great seasons and conference titles, his two trips to the D-III Super Bowl, the great coaching staffs he put together and led, and his ability to recruit and develop young talent. Coach ‘G’ could flat out build, run and lead a program. His election into the Hall says it all.
The Hall of Fame has gotten themselves a better person than a football coach. Coach ‘G’ is one of the finest men I have ever had the privilege to know. I am proud to call him my friend. I know if my sons needed anything and called Coach ‘G’ he would help them as he has helped so many folks’ sons and daughters in the past.
We have been blessed to have Coach ‘G’ and his family as citizens of the West Branch Valley. His love of his fellow man, ability to communicate, educate and inspire reaches far beyond the football field. He is a great public speaker, combining life lessons, humor and his unique delivery. He has made the Lyco campus, Williamsport and our area his life's work.
Coach ‘G’ would have been successful in any endeavor he chose, it's truly a blessing he chose football and working with young folks.
His honesty, sincerity and loyalty empowered by his energy, passion and personality have produced a winning formula for life more importantly than football. Think about all those young men he has helped to mold over the years. I can hear his voice right now saying, “Webby, that's enough, you're overdoing it, too much about me, I have had a lot of help over the years, they deserve the credit.”
Coach ‘G’ always followed the number one rule of successful coaching and leadership. When his team won it was everyone else who deserved the credit, when his team lost, the blame was his alone.
Congrats my friend, I can't wait to hear your induction speech.
Coach ‘G’ seems like the perfect segue for this new feature. Every week at the end of my column I will recognize and say thank you to a special person who normally flies under the radar.
Someone in our area that shows up every day, greets you with a smile, how can I help you? Thanks for stopping by and come again.
Maybe it's the nice lady at Dunkin that gets you that morning cup of coffee to begin your day; maybe it's the gentleman at the local garage that understands your vehicle is out of inspection and juggles his already booked schedule to get you in.
Maybe it's someone like Mr. Bill Holmes, Billy as many affectionately call him, that makes sure when an athletic event is to occur that the field is just right. He has been doing this for Loyalsock Township School sports for years. He, along with his staff, is the reason the Lancer baseball field is the nicest in the area.
You get the idea. I would also like your help! Phone me, text me, email me (570-337-0755 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know about these folks that make the area we call home a better place to live. If I choose the person you nominate I buy you both lunch to say thank you and thank you.
Anyone that frequents the Loyalsock Quick Mart can't help but to smile as they see his picture. Everyone loves Sonny. In a day when customer service has been lost, he goes the extra mile for everyone.
Sonny is the owner of one of my frequent stops on the way home or before the ball game. He seems to have everything in his store and if he doesn't he will get it in stock for you.
Sonny's surname is Tulsidas Madu Bhagat and now you know why they call him Sonny. His wife Suwarna can often also be found working at their Northway Road store. They have two great children, Sahil and Kinjal, who attend Loyalsock.
Sonny is living the American dream having worked in the communications industry for years he purchased the store about six years ago. He loves his community and the kids that frequent his store from the nearby high school and middle school.
I asked him the best part of being a business owner locally, his answer, "Coming to work each day and seeing my customers. They are all so good, friendly people."
Thank you Sonny for all you do!
God Bless America.