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Evansville, Indiana
June 25, 1993     The Message
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June 25, 1993
 

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25,1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 " Merkel ... , , i m i i n. N rial&apos;s baseball coach has spent 25 years te00mhing his players how to succeed he,d up Io Indiatl,puli. om:t ag'iJn h) pt,Q in tio..stale fi- nail. b,ll, [),,l:,l' x)oilxl] ,,;;is his lirst lo\\;', i]i< ll)l})ilioll. w}i(n h. ]ir) bc:4))] l(:achiI,. .I .M(n)orial, was t() become )he head |'o(JI|);ll] (:oae:h. But his t'irsl ytJai', whell there was oil MERKEL B RY ANN HUGHES Message staff writer Merkel says the thing he asks from his is 100 percent effort. a belief in themselves, and determina- Y )romise him those then he promises 30 )ercent" help- ne the best Players they can be. levis that when both and their coach 100 percent, "it's for a team to be opening ff)r the head baseball coach position, he accepted it and discovered "I liked teach- ing, but I loved coaching." During his early w;ars as coach, he spent a 1o{ of time doing "extra reading and at- tending clinics trying to learn as much as I could about baseball." His primary goal was to win a state champi- onship. But along the way, he began to realize the impact that he was having on his players as their coach and he began teaching them ways to be suc- cessful, on and off the base- ball field. He started encouraging them to believe in them- selves, telling them "if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will." lie began to teach them about persever- ance "because when things get tough, you can't quit. There is a way and you have to hang in there and find it." He also taught them the im- portance of concentration, be- cause "in sports, you have to shut everything else out and concentrate." hould know. In the he has amassed record as baseball at Memorial High , EVansville, including championships and runner-up titles. his team will NAAS & SONS. INC. Excavating & Trucking *Dozing *Trenching *Stone eGrovel *Asphah ptk & Wotei g Sewer Dais *Residential and (omrnercial ,,,, 768-6450 [ ' ;,a-58o, ot 067-7789 tlaotehd II.llf.#l (2 miles W.  &ll). Hllubilldl Tom ot 76a.55 | ll AUTO TOPS. SEAT COVERS. BOAT COVERS STEREO SALES & INSTALLATIONS 254-3943 HWY 50 EAST, BEHIND UPS CENTER EUGENE WELP, OWNER Dubois County Bank FIVE STAR SERVICE BANK JASPER 482-1200 "LINCOLN - MERCURY :  Auto! Home! Fire & Lifel our Personal Service Agent i L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. Franklin Street 425-3187 Memorial High School head baseball coach Quentin Merkel gets his players ready for the semistate games in Evansville. Message photo by Mary Ann Hughes He encouraged them to give 100 percent effort, noting a player with "85 percent abil- ity and 100 percent attitude will beat a player with 100 ability and 85 percent atti- tude every time." Today, when Merkel talks to his players about determi- nation, he uses his wife, Sharon, as a modal. Over 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with alnyotrophic lateral scle- rosis, also known as Lou Gehrig disease. The disease has gradually resulted in the deterioration of her muscles and today she is confined to her bed, without control of her arms or legs. Because of the deterioration of the mus- cles in her voice box. she also has great difficulty speaking. During the past two years, she has fought off life-threat- ening illnesses twice. "The first time, it was a miracle that she pulled through. But the last time, it was a quadru- ple miracle. There was divine intervention there; that's the only way she could have pulled through. "I tell my players that if you bad nine players like her, you would never get beat. She never gives up. She has a s 9irit that never quits. That 1 dy could have laid down and quit 10 years ago." Merkel savs tie believes in all the lessons that he tries to teach his players. He knows they are lessons for life. not just for the baseball field, and need help. Please help me.'" One day, Leo Schultheis. a fellow teacher at Memorial, asked Merkel "How are things going with Sharon?" i I "A player with 85 percent ability and 100 percent atti- tude will beat a player with ! I    100 percent ability and 85 percent attitude every time." they come from his own life experiences -- all but one. "I tell my players 'you have to work for things because no- body is going to give you any- thing.' But that's not true in my life." Merkel said that once word of his wife's illness spread, his family was mnazed by the generosity from the Evansville, and specifically the Memorial, community. "Her disease was progress- ing and I was overwhelmed. I was teaching, coaching, tak- ing care of small children, washing clothes and prepar- ing meals. I would lay in bed at night and pray, 'God, I III I s r'n,00 f# Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 i i i i  i li Quentin Merkel I I11 II  . I "I usually said 'pretty good' hut this time, I thought: I'm going to tell him the truth. I said, 'we are really having problems.'" Schultheis and his wife, Marilyn, began spreading the word about the Merkels' diffi' culties and soon "people started coming out of the woodwork. It had to be a god- send." Volunteers began staying with Sharon during the day while Merkel was teaching, Memorial faculty members began providing meals for the family, and honor students began coming to the Merkel home after school to super- vise the children and help with homework. That's why Merkel feels comfortable telling his play- eva "God is there. Ask him for help. "God will help you, if you ask." ICH RESOURCE MANAGER POSITION AVAILABLE St. Clement Parish, Boonville, Indiana person to assist pastor and team in secretarial, bookkeeping, and capacity. Must have secretarial/bookkeeping and communication )uter knowledge and word processing skills, be self-initiating and an tr, work with team, Catholic understanding of Gospel stewardship. Full- position. Salary negotiable; full benefits. Send resume to Rev. 8auer, 216 N. 7th St., Boonville, IN 47601-1818 before July 5.