BY JEFF FALK
The setting was outside a jubilant Palmyra girls’ basketball team locker room, moments after the Cougars had just won their first-ever Mid-Penn Conference championship. Parents were milling around, glowing with smiles from ear-to-ear, waiting to congratulate their triumphant children.
One of those patiently waiting was Sue Berman, long-time wife of Cougars’ head coach Ron Berman. Caught up in the moment and going with the flow, Mrs. Berman blurted out how she was indeed the real brains behind the successful operation.
Sue was joking of course, no one took her seriously and everyone present was afforded a good chuckle. But like most quips, this one also had a basis in truth.
Now we are not suggesting Ron is drawing up any of his wife’s suggestions on a chalkboard – although from time-to-time during the course of their 40-year bond she probably has shared her basketball opinions with her husband. Mrs. Berman did admit that over the years she has accompanied her husband on opponent-scouting missions and that she knows how to operate a video camera.
But here’s the point: Berman – and every member of his coaching staff and every Cougar player, for that matter – couldn’t do what they do on the court without the support of their families off of it. Sacrifices have been made for the good of the team and for the good of the program, and not just by the coaches and players.
But those are beliefs and values which first seeped into the program from outside of it, before emanating from it. That’s why the surrounding support groups of spouses, parents, friends and siblings are able to derive so much enjoyment from the triumphs as well.
Given their investments of time and emotions, they were very much an important part of them.