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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Boys Basketball: Smithpeters: 'It's a tough thing'

  • HHS head coach, assistant principal & father found Friday's events hitting too close to home
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  • Most people know Randy Smithpeters as a basketball coach.
    Some might not know that Smithpeters is also a Harrisburg High School administrator and a parent.
    Tragedies like the one that occurred Friday in Connecticut remind Smithpeters, that above everything, he's a human being.
    Usually never at a loss for words, especially when it comes to the events that transpire on the basketball court, the events that transpired on the East Coast early Friday morning had Smithpeters - at times - struggling to find the right thing to say.
    Perhaps it's because there just isn't the right thing to say.
    Cornered in the Massac County High School cafeteria, Smithpeters gave his testimony on his thoughts following Harrisburg's 76-42 victory over the Patriots.
    Then, when asked to give his thoughts on what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, nearly 12 hours earlier, Smithpeters searched for words.
    Biting his lip, the proud father of six and the high school's assistant principal, had the same natural reaction that any other person across America had Friday: Why?
    "That's … I don't know … It's a tough thing," Smithpeters said.
    Massac County High School did the appropriate thing prior to Friday night's tip off between both schools, holding a moment of silence for those who's lives were lost in the school shooting.
    "It's a very scary time," Smithpeters added. "You have to just feel horrible for those people in Connecticut. It's very sad for everybody and just uncalled for. It's hard to understand and just very scary. I'm glad Massac County had a moment of silence."
    Smithpeters said working in education, the news hit the Harrisburg High School offices as soon as it came on TV.
    "Being in education and of course the first thing you think of is the issues, the safety issues and the things we need to be prepared for."
    Smithpeters knows that there could always be more preventative measures taken to ensure students' safety, but also knows as a parent, that school is the one place where children are supposed to feel secure and protected.
    "We've got kids, we've all got kids and you think how awful it would be to send your kid to school and find out … It's a tough thing, a very though thing."
    It's a moment in time when we realize that we're not just human beings, we're also just being human.
    Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter. Email at hbgsports@dailyregister.com
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