Home sweet home

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 7/13/22

Even though home has been here in the Owensville area for the past 16 years, yours truly got a chance for a couple days last week to return to the place that I called home for 22 years.

Making the …

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Home sweet home

Posted

Even though home has been here in the Owensville area for the past 16 years, yours truly got a chance for a couple days last week to return to the place that I called home for 22 years.

Making the three-hour long trek north on Highway 19, I was able to spend a couple of days last week in the house that I was raised at in the small northeast Missouri town of Canton.

Sitting 30 minutes from both the Iowa and Illinois borders, Canton will always hold a special place inside of me.

Going through high school memories in my parents basement, I came across a particular towel that National Football League (NFL) fans would be familiar with.

During my trip to Washington, D.C., and the National Young Leadership Conference, one of our layover stops happened to be in Pittsburgh.

Being the die hard sports enthusiast that I am. I purchased a “Terrible Towel” from one of the stores in Pittsburgh’s airport.

Involved in a numerous activities throughout high school, I also discovered many of my certificates that were signed by the late Rodney Haley.

Before Haley became the Superintendent of Schools in the Canton R-5 School District, he was a hall of fame baseball coach in mid-Missouri at New Bloomfield High School.

Leading the Wildcats to six state championships in 1986, 1989-93 and 1996, Haley was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame back in 2017 just two years after he passed away in 2015.

Finishing with an outstanding record of 409-105 during his time in the third base coaches box at New Bloomfield, Haley was also a 1998 inductee into the Missouri State High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA) Hall of Fame.

 During New Bloomfield’s 1988 final four run, Haley crossed paths with an eventual colleague in Canton High School head baseball coach Randy Lillard.

Lillard eventually became the high school principal in Canton and worked alongside Haley before passing away earlier this year back in March.

Needless to say, I was able to relive a lot of memories for two days last week in my hometown.

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