Editor's Note: Coach Skip Poole is owner of the Chattanooga Steam semi-pro football team, which is planning to relocate to Dade County. After The Planet's story earlier this week about tryouts for the new team (to be called the Wolverines), Coach Poole wished to interject a mission statement as well as an apology for "jumping the gun" about his team's use of Dade County High as a venue. The Planet publishes the coach's statement here as a letter to the editor as well as sharing it as a post on The Planet's Facebook page.
Is Dade County Ready for a minor-league football team? I honestly believe that Dade County is a great selection for the revitalized Chattanooga Steam football team. The people in this tight-knit community represent what is missing in America today; PRIDE & HONOR. I will tell you this; the three owner and operators of the Steam have homes here in Dade, Coach David Powell, Coach Ron Rench and yours truly, Coach Skip Poole. This must be some indication to you that we are so impressed with the community, that we decided to make it our homes. We have been based out of Chattanooga for so long, we almost forgot about the advantages of such a close-knit community. We are yours if that is all right with you!
We certainly apologize if we have jumped the gun regarding our venue. Logically, we wanted to adopt your high school mascot as well as your great football venue and we have not given up on that endeavor. We do not wish to be a one-season wonder; we want to be your team indefinitely. The Steam or, like I wish to refer to ourselves, The Wolverines are here to give the young men of this community an avenue to pursue their grid-iron dreams; to realize the opportunities presented by minor league football; and to fuel their passions.
I do not wish to bore you with my resume. Let it suffice to say that we are proven champions and we know a thing or two about making dreams come true.
Our MISSION STATEMENT is quite simple; yet, so powerful: "Reputation is who you want others to think you are - Character is who you are in the dark!" In other words, when one's reputation is lost...nothing is lost. When one's character is lost...all is lost. We do not want nor do we tolerate characters; we want players with character (real men of character).
Our CREED is more complex and extremely powerful: "I am a Wolverine and proud to be a Wolverine; I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and by God's Grace, I shall do...Our Father who art in Heaven (the Lord's Prayer recited).
Our Team Philosophy is the 7 D's to success, which was authored by the late great Coach Shug Jordan from Auburn University. Desire, Dedication, Determination, Dependability, Discipline, Desperation and when all else fails...Damn it anyway.
I will not sit here and attempt to glamorize the game of football because it is a violent sport designed to impose your will upon others. However, it allows the players to rid themselves of the frustrations of everyday life. It promotes unity and dignity; it creates a bond between all participants that will live on and never be broken or lose its glimmer. To me, football is not simply a game...it is a way of life!
The secret to this way of life is the same as the secret to life itself:
1. Know exactly what you want
2. Want it badly enough
3. Confidently expect to attain it
4. Persistently determine to obtain it, and
5. Be willing to pay the price of its attainment.
I hope that you understand the validity of the power in this game which we refer to as football. I have been a part of football for over 46 years and the most satisfying part of my career is working with players who have the same hunger that I did back in 1972. As strange as it may seem, football is a catalyst for making dreams come true...it is not a game, it is a way of life.
Our affiliation is with the AFA (American Football Association), which is the most prestigious and oldest football organization in the world. Both Coach Powell and Coach Poole are Hall of Fame inductees of the AFA.
If the community of Dade County would like to welcome us into their lives, we promise to win their hearts.