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Volunteering to keep the books and stats for North Hardin High School boy’s basketball team is a natural fit for Rick Skeeters.
Head coach Ron Bevars coached Skeeters when he was a student at NHHS.
“I played on Ron’s very first team,” Skeeters said.
“We go back,” Bevars said, explaining Skeeters was on his team in 1971 when Bevars arrived at NHHS.
Skeeters has been watching NHHS basketball teams since 1968-69, he said.
By Skeeters’ senior year, Bevars was head coach.
Skeeters, who always was at games anyway, began keeping stats for the team. His brother, Mike, had done similar volunteer work for the team.
Eventually, Skeeters started keeping the books.
“I was there, knew how to do it, and they needed somebody,” Skeeters said.
The work is not without some hurdles.
“The pace of the game is the most challenging thing,” Skeeters said.
It’s easy to miss things, he said. It also is easy to get wrapped up in the game, which Skeeters admits has happened when he reacted too strongly to a play, something he’s not supposed to do.
“I think you become more emotionally attached to the program,” Skeeters said.
But emotional involvement is an undeniable aspect of his volunteer work.
His role also allows him to experience the ups and downs students go through.
“You get to know the kids better,” he said. “It makes the games more enjoyable to go to.”
The game, in fact, has changed over the years, Skeeters said.
Not only did the 3-point shot change it “dramatically,” he said, but less emphasis is placed on the “mechanics of the game,” and the rules are “looser.”
“It’s caused it to become much more physical,” Skeeters said.
Some things, on the other hand, have stayed the same through the years.
“Athletes, in general, are competitive,” he said.
Though he’s recovering from a torn rotator cuff, the Vine Grove resident enjoys volunteering for the team.
“I think that becomes easier with age,” he said.
With his kids out of the home, a supportive wife and his own business, Skeeters finds few conflicts with his schedule. He described volunteers at games as “very, very committed.”
Volunteers often help out for more than one sport because they are needed.
“You don’t have as many parents as involved as you used to,” he said.
Bevars expressed gratitude for the volunteers, about four who help out on a regular basis, he said.
“I’ve just been really fortunate to have people like Rick,” Bevars said.
Not only does Skeeters help the team, he said, but he helps give back to the community and comes from a family with a long history of giving back.
“He’s just a great guy, a great person,” Bevars said.
Skeeters said potential volunteers sometimes don’t get involved because they don’t know how to. He said they should “just ask” how they can help.
Making a commitment to help involves being aware of the time obligation required.
“You’ve got to decide you can make time to do it,” Skeeters said.
And commitment, he said, is what keeps him and others volunteering for the team.
“We’ve all made a commitment to coach Bevars,” Skeeters said. “As long as he’s there, we’ll stay.”
Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIME OUT WITH RICK SKEETERS:
Town of residence: Vine Grove.
Family: Wife, Judy; five grown children; eight grandchildren.
Favorite music: Oldies ('60s and '70s).
Favorite TV shows: “American Idol;” music reality shows; UK basketball.
Favorite movie: “White Christmas”
Hobbies: Mountain biking; firearms instruction; snow skiing; cycling.