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Editorial - A legend moves on

October 13, 1997

This certainly won't be the last tribute to departing Smithsburg High football coach Carroll Reid. His 29-year coaching career produced more accomplishments than can be noted in this small space, but in addition to leading the Leopards to four state titles, he also provided something else.

That something was leadership by example, which seems to be in short supply today. Reid could have retired three years ago after Smithsburg garnered its last state title, and basked in the praise of a community where he had become a legend. Instead, he heeded pleas from the parents of his players and kept on coaching, though he retired from teaching at the time.

Reid left quietly last week, saying only that he was beginning to feel the stress of coaching, and that he had decided it was "time to go." He voiced no complaints and made no excuses, saying only that he had "had enough."

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At Smithsburg, Reid amassed a record of 207-100-2, but he refused to take sole credit for that, saying the program's success depended on many people, including the players, the coaches and the many volunteers who just wanted to help the program.

But Reid's accomplishments didn't come only on the football field, according to Eugene "Yogi" Martin, Washington County's supervisor of athletics. As a result of Reid's instruction, many Smithsburg players were able to go on to college.

What they learned are the things every good coach should teach - that nothing worthwhile is accomplished without discipline and hard work, and that the success of any endeavor is the result of teamwork.

For teaching those lessons for three decades, we hope the school and the town can produce a fitting memorial to Carroll Reid. The term "legend" is overused these days, and future students at Smithsburg High ought to have some way of learning about one man who really deserved the title.

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