For those of you who know who I am I hope this finds you well.

Dear Editor,

For those of you who know who I am I hope this finds you well.  For those who don't, I am Javarri Beachum, a graduate of Port St. Joe High School Class of 2013.  I was class president and captain of the soccer team, and participated in various other activities in school including NJROTC. I am currently finishing the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island, and I am receiving an appointment from here to the United States Naval Academy for the Class of 2018.  But, enough about me. I write to you concerning one of the best coaches and mentors I have ever had, Coach Gary J. Hindley

Coach Hindley was a vital part of my development as a soccer player, student, American citizen, young adult, and now college student and military professional.  I played under Coach Hindley all four years of my high school career.  My freshman year was his first year at Port St. Joe High School and it was my first year ever playing soccer.  I knew nothing about the game; not even that the real word for soccer was Futbol.  In my four years under coach Hindley, I went from not knowing anything about soccer to being one of the most crucial players in our success as a team and one of the best soccer players in our class and region. 

He not only taught me how to play soccer, but he taught me how to love the game passionately, which in my opinion is the mark of a true teacher; one who doesn't pass on knowledge, but passion for knowledge.  I was always working to make myself better underneath him because he urged everyone to make improvements.  He not only encouraged us in our athletics, although that was his main concern because it was his job, but he demanded that we  be good citizens; to lend a helping hand when needed, to obey the laws set before us.  He didn't tolerate misconduct on or off the field.  If soccer player got into any trouble, we were benched for at least a game and we'd have to earn Coaches Hindley’s respect all over again. That is the way it should be; Countless times I had to apologize to my teammates for letting them down. In the military, people get killed for letting others down.

Coach Hindley was concerned about our classes and how we were doing in them.  There were many times that I went to him about problems that I had with teachers.  He also encouraged me to use the material we learned in the classroom on the field such as Newton's 2nd Law of Motion when refereeing a game.  He kicked me out of practice once for not wearing the proper shirt, and at the time, I thought it was just a shirt. Where I am now if I am wearing the wrong color socks, I can get adjudicated and punished for improper wear or not following regulation; That's just one instance from my four years with Coach Hindley that prepared me for the real world. He helped me develop into a professional; because Port St. Joe doesn't even scratch the surface although it is a great town, it just does its own thing and enforces bad habits and mindsets. He was certainly a misfit for our little bubble of a town in these aspects, but it turns out that we who live or lived there were misfits for the rest of the world and ignorant to the way the world actually works.  One thing he hated was people wanting to take a day off of practice for their birthday or that of a loved one or their relative is having a baby, my job now as a military professional could care less about who's birthday it is, and I have met men who were in Afghanistan when their own child was born and there have been plenty who never got to see their children born.

As a coach, he taught me so well that his coaching has put me in a position where I can walk on the Division I team at the Academy and be successful as a player.  I was also recruited as a soccer player by several other colleges such as Monroe College of New York City, West Virginia Tech, and various other schools.  That was more scholarship offers than many players of other teams who had played their sports their whole lives, not to mention the other players who have gotten offers under Coach Hindley's guidance.  I am glad to have had the pleasure of calling Coach Hindley my soccer coach and now since I've become an adult, I'm glad that I can call him my friend.  It’s remarkable that he came, and in one year, the entire culture of the town changed. People were excited about soccer, and the best thing is that he turned the program around. He took a player like myself, pushed me to give my heart to the game, and a boy who'd never played soccer before helped his team win district titles and make regional final appearances.  I didn't realize it at the time, but Coach Hindley is a great asset to Port St. Joe High School and the community.  He will always be one of the men who I look back at and say, "Wow! I'm glad he was in my life because he helped me see many of things in life, that I would have not seen otherwise.

Javarri D. Beachum

Midshipman Candidate

Naval Academy Preparatory School