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Gallagher column: Introducing the newest Wonder: Chloe Newsome

Successful head football coaches always point to their assistants as the key to winning seasons. Their advice is as important as what he’s thinking.
“It’s a team effort, not just me,” they always chirp.
A.L. Brown coach Mike Newsome took that to a new level about eight months ago. His wife, Laura, was about to give birth to their first child.
Newsome looked around and saw assistant Todd Hagler with four kids and assistant Noah Lyon bringing young Noah Jr, 7, to practice.
So, as any good coach would, he asked them for a few pointers.
“I told him not to plan,” Hagler said. “Whatever you plan, it’s not going to work.”
Hagler told Newsome to forget the classes and the rubbing and the nurturing.
“Those pains start coming and she just wants you to leave her alone,” he smiled.
“There’s not a class you can take,” chuckled Lyon. “You learn on your own.”

Newsome listened intently. Then on Jan. 2, 2012, Laura presented him with beautiful, little Chloe.
And Newsome, at 40 years of age, was reborn. He immediately became more than “Coach Newsome.”
He was “Daddy.”
And he was thrilled.
“A lot of times, football coaches want to have boys,” Newsome noted. “I was tickled to death to have a girl. I think little girls are special.”
A change in Newsome is clear. No surprise there.
“I told Mike ‘Your whole outlook on life changes,’ ” Hagler said.
For a coach, it translates to the field.
“I still coach hard,” Hagler said. “But when you have that kid, you’re going to talk to kids a little different. You’re going to understand somebody loves that young’un you’re talking to as much as you loves yours. You’re still going to coach them. But that’s somebody’s baby.”

Newsome may be 40 but he’s a young 40, always joking and smiling off the field. His personality has people migrating his way.
The last seven months, there have been few times he hasn’t been grinning from ear to ear.
Thank you, Chloe.
“You just learn another level of love,” Newsome said. “It’s neat to watch her grow and learn. I’m just looking forward to the years of being with her and how many more we have after that.”
Lyon told Newsome before the birth that everything will fall in place naturally.
“I told him just to build a foundation with them,” he said.

Don’t think Newsome is going to become mushy because he lives with two females. He’ll still be his boisterous, motivating self on the football field, trying to lead the Wonders to another conference championship, and ultimately, a state crown.
But when he goes home, the outcome won’t linger in his mind all night.
“The good thing is, win or lose, after the game’s over with, you’re still the best coach in the world,” Newsome said. “That says a lot about the relationship between a father and his kids.”
And with that, Mike Newsome trotted onto the Memorial Stadium turf with his other children — the young men wearing Wonder green — who hopefully give Daddy something positive to tell Chloe when he gets home every Friday night.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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