As I look at the Centennial girls' basketball team, I give lots of credit to coach Tim Fairchild for sticking it out rather than walking away following the school's state tournament runs earlier this decade.
At the high school level, where no recruiting is allowed, it is difficult for one school to remain in the upper echelon year after year after year. And yet, Centennial was a major player in girls' basketball most of the years that Fairchild has been on the sidelines.
Certainly, Fairchild could have seen the handwriting on the wall after the 2003-04 team completed a 10-year run of consecutive 20-win seasons. That success, in itself, was a tremendous feat, but the overall talent coming up was not on par to what was graduating and the typical reaction from many coaches is to retire and "go out on top."
Fairchild, who will retire after this season after 29 years on the job, has struggled through the past two seasons -- winning a total of 18 games -- but should be commended for trying to get the program back on solid footing before leaving it for a new coach.
His players should learn a lesson from this as well. The bottom line is not winning. If you are committed to a project, that commitment should be the No. 1 focus.
Fairchild's final team has not won a game yet this season and will be the underdogs virtually every time they play, but he didn't throw in the towel three years ago and neither should his players now. Brighter days are ahead.