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Smooth sailing with Navy

March 30, 2001

Smooth sailing with Navy



By BOB PARASILITI / bobp@herald-mail.com

Charlie Weatherbie works at a place where life, liberty and success are everyday requirements.

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As head football coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, those three factors aren't only his pre-game speech, they are also main thoughts one recruiting posters across America.

But to obtain life, liberty and success, even the best Navy cadet needs an anchor ... the anchor of discipline.

"Discipline is one of those things that everyone wants and needs," Weatherbie said Thursday before his speech at the annual Boys and Girls Club annual Steak and Burger Banquet at Hagerstown's Four Points Inn. "People are afraid to give it to kids and athletes because they are afraid they won't be liked, but in the long run, they will be liked more in the end because its something everyone needs."

Discipline is as prevalent as air at the academy in Annapolis, Md., but neither can be taken for granted.

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"At Navy, it's one of those things that we work on with positive thinking and motivation," Weatherbie said. "The cadets realize that it is a big responsibility when they wear the blue and gold of Navy and there is more to it than just winning games."

It's about the end result which is something everyone needs to keep in mind their entire life.

Weatherbie's message to the 350 guests was about excelling in life.

"It's about excelling in everything you do," the seventh-year coach said. "You do the best you can do and be the best you can in all aspects of life. It's about being successful in life."

The Steak and Burger Banquet is the youth club's way of rewarding the success of its members. The boys and girls in attendance get the steak dinner while their sponsors dine on hamburgers.

Weatherbie came to the banquet during an era when discipline is disappearing on the sporting front. Hardline coaches are losing jobs to more lenient styles of instruction. In most cases, the results are not the same.

"There are a lot of ways to discipline without degrading," Weatherbie said. "There is such a thing as tough love where you stay on someone when he isn't doing what he needs to and hug him up when he does things right."

Weatherbie spoke at the banquet without accepting a fee, even after heavy rain grounded his flight and forced him to make a hurried driving trip to the engagement.

"I enjoy coming out and visiting with young people," he said. "My whole life has been around grade school, junior high, high school and college young men. The Lord opens doors for you to come out and share experiences. Maybe something I say today will help. Maybe one of these young men and women will be able to succeed because of some pearl that I may have said today."

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