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Plymouth Basketball January 2012

Newsletter 4

Welcome Welcome to 2012! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. It was nice to be able to spend some time with family and friends as always. But, it is good to get back into the swing of things with school and games starting up again. We have some huge games this month with the likes of NLC foes Concord (1/13), Wawasee (1/20), and Northridge (1/27). We also have some very challenging non-conference foes in Tippecanoe Valley, Laporte, and Mishawaka. I know our coaching staff and players are excited about this month and seeing where we stand against this great competition.

In the January Newsletter, I have included a player bio on Senior Co-Captain John Ruff. Also, we had some neat opportunities over Christmas Break that I wanted others to know about.

Christmas Family A huge thanks goes out to so many who donated money towards our Christmas family this year. We were able to help out a single mom with three young children in need. It was great seeing our players involved in this opportunity. The players took a day and went shopping with the coaches and they did an outstanding job. A few days before Christmas, the mom came to the school to pick up the gifts. Our seniors helped load the car up and you could tell by the expression on her face that she was overwhelmed with the generosity of our players and families. My hope is that someday when our players are older they will continue this practice of helping others in need similar to what we have done here. 1




Love Faith

Believe Dream

Everyone loves encouragement. I do not know a single person who does not enjoy receiving positive feedback from someone else. I came across the following example in a John Maxwell book titled, “Becoming a Person of Influence” and is a good reminder about the importance of encouraging others. An experiment was conducted years ago to measure people's capacity to endure pain. Psychologists measured how long a barefooted person could stand in a bucket of ice water. They found that one factor made it possible for some people to stand in the ice water twice as long as others. Can you guess what that

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” ~ William Ward

factor was? It was encouragement. When another person was present, giving support and encouragement, the sufferers were able to endure the pain much longer than their counterparts who were not supported. William Ward once said: “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.” A lack of encouragement can hinder a person from living a healthy, productive life. But when a person feels encouraged, he or she can face the impossible and overcome incredible adversity. And the person who gives the gift of encouragement becomes an influencer in his or her life.


~John Ruff Jr. Age: 18

Favorite Class: Sociology

Height: 6’ 1”

Favorite Teacher: Mrs. Hargrove

Weight: 175

Favorite Foods: Broccoli Casserole

GPA: 11.0 /12.0

Favorite Sports Team: Chicago Bulls Chicago Bears

Class Rank: 19/229 Family:

John Ruff (Dad), Josephine Ruff (Mom) Luke Ruff (Brother)

Favorite Music Group: Kid Cudi Eminem Hobbies:

Playing Basketball, Football, or Golf Hanging Out with Friends

Team Goals: To win conference, win sectionals then go from there. General Quote: “Don’t Ever Give Up”

Ruff ’12

“Don’t Ever Give Up”

Senior Bio


Lead.........for God's Sake Over Christmas Break, we were fortunate to have the author of the leadership book, “Lead.....for God's Sake” come in to talk to the team. The author happens to be Todd G o n g w e r, m y f o r m e r mentor and coach in college. He and his family are well-known for their successful family business, Nelson's Port-aPit Chicken, but Todd recently decided to pursue another route in the area of leadership. He talked with our varsity team for about an hour over break and covered many topics concerning leadership. He started off his discussion about defining leadership and how there are so many ways to define leadership based on our own personal experience with it. He felt like the best word to describe leadership is influence and with influence comes responsibility. With defining leadership in this

manner, ever y sing le player on this team should be a leader because all of us have the ability to influence. He mentioned a huge issue in our society today is that no one wants to take responsibility for things when things do not go our way. It is easy to point fingers or place blame elsewhere, but in reality, effective leaders take responsibility for their actions and results whether good or bad. Todd also talked about the importance of handling certain situations on the court in a positive way. Some of these situations would be a poor call from an official or a game when nothing is going our way. We a r e a l w ay s b e i n g watched by others, especially younger kids, and how we react during these times will have an impact on them. I thought he also used a g reat example when viewing leadership as something that comes

from within. It is important we are our own person and not looking at others and their way of leading. If we are always looking to others, we will lose our own focus and purpose for what we are trying to accomplish in life. Overall, it was a very productive meeting and I hope our players were able to take something from this meeting. I would encourage anyone interested in growing in their leadership abilities to read his book, “Lead......for God's Sake”. This book has opened up some great opportunities for Todd as he had the chance to sit down with Urban Meyer for one-onone interview and he will also have the opportunity to speak at this years NCAA Final Four Clinic. You can find this book at or on


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