Thursday, May 2, 2024

A Father and his Son

Billy Graham once said, "The greatest tribute a boy can give to his father is to say, ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like my dad.”

By the time Todd Messer came to Clinton County to be the basketball coach, his daddy had already made a name for himself in Eastern Kentucky. A veteran basketball official of 27 years, Leighman Messer had called multiple regional championship games, all a state tournaments and the girls Sweet 16. He had coached football and girls and boys basketball and had been an assistant basketball coach at Clay County. Along the way, he made a lifelong impact on hundreds of kids.

Coming to Clinton County would become icing on the cake in Leighman Messer's already celebrated career. For 16 years, as he helped his son coach the Mighty Bulldogs, he witnessed Todd become one of the most respected coaches in Kentucky.

Coach Leighman Messer was on the sidelines for six all a classic regional championships, an all a state tournament runner up, seven district championships, 13 appearances in the regular regional tournament and nine seasons of 20 or more wins, and when the Kentucky State Senate honored Todd when he became the all-time winningest head coach in Clinton County High School history - 314 wins against 166 career losses, it was an especially proud moment for Leighman, an exclamation point on a beautiful 'like father, like son' story.

On Facebook, Amanda Messer posted a beautiful photo of her husband and their daughter, Lexi, and with it she wrote, "Sometimes all you need is your dad." How very apropos. I am sure going to miss Leighman Messer and his faithfulness to Todd and his family in Clinton County. It has sure been a joy to watch.

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