One of the great things about this job, if you are doing it right, is the simplest of the jobs we do as writers, especially sportswriters.

It's talking to coaches and players when we are out and about, something you can't always do after a night game if you are stuck to a deadline.

It's why August is one of my favorite months - or November in basketball season.

The season hasn't started and you can take time to sit and talk with coaches. And I've been fortunate enough to do it for over 30 years.

I figure I've been to just about every coach's office in the area - and I've seen a lot of different coaches in the same old offices and I've been to some offices that no longer exist - and I've been to offices in the Martinsburg area and the Wheeling area.

You can get a lot of information in these chats, and, trust me, 95% of it you never use.

I could probably write a book about the different things I've heard and been told in these chats, some I could even print.

When you have done it long enough, you figure you have seen it all or heard it all. And as a friend of mine in the business found out a few years ago, if you open the wrong door, sometimes you see a little bit more than you wanted to see. Enough of that, though.

On Thursday, I was up at Clear Fork, talking to Renegades head coach Herbie Halsey about the season, schedules, turf fields around the state and other football related topics. Practice had ended, pictures had been shot and Halsey opened his door and a player walked in. The kid circled the room, shaking hands with each coach and thanked them individually.

And he walked out.

"That is a kid who was brought up the right way," Halsey said. "You don't see that much these days."

He was Spencer Keeney, the Renegades backup quarterback, who will also be playing some receiver and defense for the Renegades this season.

Indeed, you don't see it much these days. In fact, aside from a general greeting, I'm not sure I've ever seen a player go out of his way to thank each individual coach at practice. If you admit it, you probably read that and think the kid was up to something, bucking for a little more playing time. I've got to admit, I was curious about it.

"He does that after every practice, every game," Halsey said. "He comes by and thanks all the coaches. I think I was shocked when he did that the first time, but that is just the way he is. He is a product of his upbringing."

I had to ask Keeney about where that came from, why he felt compelled to do that after every practice, every game. A lot of kids are headed for the door and after a few hours in the sun, you can't fault them for that.

"It was my parents raising me right, telling me wrong from right," Keeney said. "They always told me that I should come and thank (the coaches) for taking time out of their lives to help us improve."

If you know what coaches make, you understand it is almost volunteer work.

I also asked the high school junior if he felt that kind of action - being thankful in general - was slipping away in society.

"A little, but but I feel like if we have enough people who are willing to get better and listen to the coaches, I think it would really help," Keeney said.

He isn't thanking the coaches for any reason other than he appreciates what they do.

How refreshing is that?

With everything going on wring in the world today, it was nice to se a kid doing things the right way.

He is starting catcher for the Westside baseball team.

"I have played football my whole life," Keeney said. "I started playing baseball when I was 11. I think I went with catcher just because I was used to having all that gear on."

Yes, you can root for a kid like that.

Westside's Spencer Keeney is proof that good things happen to good people, too.

Independent Herald reporter Dave Morrison can be emailed at dmorrison@hdmediallc.com.

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