‘I hope this lifts their spirits’: Hickory using social media to inspire athletes


Watch the video to see the creative ways Hickory coaches are connecting with their athletes

HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – Madeline Hoffman is the athletic director at Hickory, a school hit hard by the winter sports stoppage.

The Hornets had four swimmers and divers advance to the state championships this year and a boys basketball team in the state quarterfinals, all of which are now on hold.

So with spring sports suspended, Hoffman decided to spread some love on social media with inspirational messages from coaches to players.

“I just hope that this lifts their spirits a little bit,” Hoffman said. “I especially feel for the seniors — softball, baseball, tennis, track and field — that might not get a season. That’s heartbreaking to think about, so I hope that this lifts their spirits a little bit and lets them know that we’re here for them and we’ll get through this.”

From a sign written in sidewalk chalk to a message made from golf balls, each coach has used the opportunity to inspire their kids. So far, there has been a clear favorite.

“I think that generally, we got the biggest response from coach Chris Mele with boys basketball,” Hoffman said. “He has a lot of fans in our area. He’s a fantastic person, great coach. I think he definitely got the most likes, and not to toot my own horn, but I think I was second favorite!”

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