2006-02-23 / Letters

Blessed because our paths crossed

TO THE EDITOR:

I first heard of Elliott Poss during his high school football playing days. My brother-in-law, Herbert Powell, kept stats for the Washington-Wilkes Tigers while he and my sister, Marcene, lived in Washington.

What a tremendous player he was! Coaches used to jokingly say, “Coach Davidson doesn’t have to coach; he’s got one on the field in Elliott Poss.” Equally impressive to his athletic prowess were his leadership, character, and integrity on and off the field.

I followed his college playing days. He and I became friends when upon graduation he returned to Washington to coach and I was an assistant at Greene County. We traded “grass-cutting” stories as the maintenance of the football field was part of our responsibilities as assistant coaches. We used to laugh and say they really didn’t need us to coach; they just found out that we could drive a tractor and didn’t have a job, so we got hired!

Because of the excellent job he did as a high school coach and as his character and integrity continued to grow, he went into the college coaching ranks. We kept in touch as he recruited in the area I was coaching, Stephens County. He was always honest, straightforward and upright.

When he decided to return to high school coaching and administration, he applied for a position in administration and coaching in Elbert County. The superintendent at the time, Col. Charles Dixon, asked me to come by his office one day while I was working in Elbert County. He told me of the position that was open and said that Elliott Poss had applied. He further inquired whether there was any relation between us. I proudly said, “I certainly know him and would be happy to claim him as kinfolk (but he might not want to claim me), but we are not related.”

He inquired of the circumstances surrounding my knowing Elliott. I said I knew him and he is one excellent coach, but more importantly, he is a superlative individual in everything he does spiritually, professionally, and personally. I wish my son and daughter could have been under his leadership and guidance.

Elliott was a tremendous role model to all of us. Someone once said, “Life is a gift. That is why we call it the present.” While his life was shortened because of the opponent – “the Big C,” cancer – he lost that battle, but he wins the championship because he has led a life that gives him eternal victory.

Elliott, or Dr., or Coach, or however we knew him, he always exhibited “doing things right and doing the right things” as daddy, husband, coach, teacher, administrator, leader, person, and friend.

I am honored that we share the same last name, and I am a blessed man because our paths crossed.

MACK POSS

Toccoa

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