Supposedly, my job is one where I need to be objective. I’ll gladly admit that I fail at it often, especially when it comes to supporting Warren County sports.
I live a happier life and my readers like my stories more when the Pioneers are winning, so I find myself rooting for them. Maybe it’s not how I’m supposed to act, but I don’t care (keep this between us, I don’t want my boss to know). I’ve loved sports since I was old enough to know what they were – you can’t take the fan out of me.
Over the years, I’ve noticed my fandom – particularly for the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers – usually ties into my feelings about the coaching staff. As much as I want to see Warren County kids succeed, it’s much more satisfying for me when I see the hard work our coaches put in locally get rewarded - none more than football coach Matt Turner.
Look, I know some fans are rolling their eyes already and would love nothing more than to read a story about the things Turner screws up. I’m sure they’d call out fourth-down decisions or tear into him for play calling, but I don’t have to do that. I tell Turner, sometimes immediately, when I think he messed up.
What I don’t tell him enough – and I don’t think this community does either – is how much he’s meant to this town in working to turn our football program around. Community pride isn’t measurable, but I’ve been around long enough to know when people care or don’t care about our sports. They care right now – it’s probably why they’re hollering from the stands at our coaches most nights.
Their barbs may fall on deaf ears, but their passion can still be saluted (even if it’s sometimes misguided). A lot of that fire from fans is because Turner has shown that we don’t have to be a laughingstock, something our program was for most of his life.
It’s been documented plenty that he wasn’t my first choice back in 2019. In this very same space, I openly pushed for Michael Thrower to get the job (and he interviewed for it too). Turner still reminds me occasionally as well.
He proved me wrong and continues to do it, even now when the results aren’t as favorable as they were in his first two years. I commend him because even as the losing has started, his resolve hasn’t changed and his commitment (often putting in 70-80 hours of week in game planning, field painting, clothes washing, equipment maintenance and much, much more) never falters.
After Friday’s game, Turner was at a loss for words. I can’t blame him – this year has been three huge kicks in the gut in just five weeks. If he wants some words, here are mine: Turner is doing a good job.