Ask a Big Country football fan to name the area’s most successful coaches over the past 20 years and the list will generally sound like this: Denney Faith, Brent West, Hugh Sandifer, Wayne Hutchinson, Patrick Corcoran, Gary Proffitt, Russell Lucas, Dewaine Lee, Mike Reed and a varying number of stragglers.
You won’t hear the name Mitch Ables. Yet you should.
In fact, a large number of area fans could not tell you for certain that he’s the Hawley coach. And many could not tell you that he has ushered in an era of success with the Bearcats that is absolutely unprecedented.
Even I have been a bit slow at giving Ables credit for what he has become, and this extends well beyond Thursday’s 47-12 loss to Shiner in Hawley’s first-ever state championship game.