By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times
One of my first assignments covering sports in Glasgow was a Lady Scotties’ softball game. Lisa Calhoun (later she married Jerry Underwood and took his last name) was the coach. Her daughter, Candace, was a member of the junior class that year.
The Lady Scotties were down in the game to Logan County. The team’s two seniors were away for their senior trip and that left the juniors in charge.
Before the fourth inning, Tara Foster gave a speech about how they were not going to lose that game. “Come on, this is next year’s team,” she told her teammates.
Glasgow rallied and won the game 10-5.
I asked Lisa about the speech after the game and she said she had a good team of good leaders. Lisa was one of the first coaches I had the pleasure of meeting and she was always kind. Most importantly, she always pushed her players and wanted them to receive proper recognition for their efforts.
The Lady Scotties had a solid season that year. They finished as district tournament runners-up, losing to Allen County-Scottsville, 2-0, in the championship game. They later dropped a heart-breaker to Greenwood, 3-2, in the first round of the regional tournament.
There were tears shared after that loss between Lisa and her two seniors, pitcher Tara Bragg and catcher Stefany Vaughn. It was obvious the coach had a great deal of love for her players.
Although I never was fortunate enough to witness Lisa at work as a teacher, I’ve always been told she had that same level of love for her students. I also understand she treated each with respect and dignity.
As a coach, she pushed her players to be their best, but she also praised their efforts.
That present Glasgow High School coach Steven Murphy has named his team’s tournament this year in Lisa’s honor certainly must mean much to her family and friends.
The teacher and coach died in January. She had fought long and hard against cancer and the tournament, which is to be played today, weather permitting, will raise money for the fight against cancer.
“She had such a big impact on the young people in this area and she was such a big influence on a number of students.
“That’s why we wanted to do something to honor her impact on the softball program and on our school. She fought a valiant fight against cancer for a long time, and we thought it would be important to give her a day to honor her,” Murphy told Daily Times sports editor Scott Wilson for a story published Friday on the front page of the sports section.
“I was fortunate enough to teach with Lisa for 10 years and the thing that sticks in my mind most when I think of Lisa Underwood is how she was always positive,” said Craig Cassady, GHS athletic director. “She always had positive things to say about people and when something not positive came up, she found a way to turn it into a positive. I think that could have been Lisa’s greatest attribute.”
For the Lisa Calhoun Underwood I met within my first week of arriving in Glasgow 10 years ago, those two descriptions of her are spot on.
She certainly welcomed me and my family to the community with kindness.