President, Allan Cady, opened the meeting with a moment of silence after he announced that Al Morgan, Jeanie's husband had passed away November 28.  Ray Smith offered the invocation and Chris Krueger led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jeanie Morgan won the weekly raffle, but failed to draw the Ace of Clubs, so the $575 pot will continue to grow.  Chuck Flint conducted the Buck Board elimination drawing.  Frank Rosenberg was the winner.  $1,000 will be donated to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) in his name.  
Chuck Flint reminded members that one of our goals this year is for Mesa West to be recognized as an EREY (Every Rotarian, Every Year) club with each member donating $100 or more to The Rotary Foundation this Rotary year.  Chuck made EREY forms available, and enticed members to take the forms with them since a recipe was printed on the back of the form:  Citrus Roast Chicken a la Lucinda (1998 Lucinda Rose General).
In the interest of time, "Express Happy Bucks" were collected.  Jeanie paid $47 for each of the 47 years she had the privilege of spending with a very good man.  
  • Six Mesa West Rotarians attended the Charter Meeting of Grand Canyon University's new Rotaract Club.  Member, Ed Koesneman is the advisor.  They will meet every other Wednesday at the university.
  • Don LaBarge reminded members we are in Salvation Army bell ringing season and lots of openings are still available on the schedule.
  • President Allan reminded members that EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) is a requirement for the District Achievement Award
Carole Kralicek donated a bag to be auctioned of miscellaneous items she brought back from her Rotary Friendship Exchange to Australia.  Bob Zarling was the highest bidder with his bid of $75.
Steve Ross announced upcoming speakers.  He also announced that when he joined the club, there were two annual events.  The Spring Olympics, has continued as a tradition.  The other event - The Rotary Shoot Out - no longer happens.  He introduced Coach Jay Cassario from Gilbert High School as the speaker, and reminded members that the Coach has brought his team to our Spring Olympics to keep the games honest each year.
Coach Cassario is from Wisconsin.  He is married to his high school sweetheart.  They arrived in July, 2000 to experience 118 degree temperature as they arrived.  They have four children.  His wife is a labor and delivery nurse.  His first job was at Greenfield Junior High.  Coincidentally, when he contacted a friend from his own small town in Wisconsin, he found that the friend was living in the same apartment complex.  
He moved from the junior high to coach under Coach Bennett.  When Coach Bennett retired, he felt fortunate to be offered the head coaching position.  It was challenging to take over following a very successful coach, particularly so, since he was only 8+ years older than his players.  He enjoys having the team help with Salvation Army bell ringing as well as serving as umpires/referees at the Spring Olympics each year at John Benedict's home.  
When he inherited the basketball program, his primary hope was the he "didn't screw it up."  Kids want to be in the program commuting from other districts.  High school sports has changed.  It used to be that football players, would go on to play basketball, and then baseball in the spring.  Now each have year-round programs.  More kids are focused on one thing.  He has found that kids are resilient, and that they like discipline.
In addition to coaching, he teaches High School Honors Biology.  He has a full day - 150 kids in five sections.  7th hour every day, he teaches his basketball team  It gets the kids home with their family in the evenings.  One of his requests when he started was that he be allowed to continue with the 7th hour basketball class, which had been started by Coach Bennett.  Coach Bennett was influencial in another way.  "The way to judge if you've had a successful season is to see where the kids are in 20 years."
In answering a question about parent complaints about their kid not getting enough playing time, Coach Casario announced that when parents complain, their child is suspended from playing.  Coach Bennett had that practice and it had seemed harsh at the time, so he didn't operate that way when he first took over as head coach.  It made the job much more stressful, so he reinstituted the practice.  Parents may still complain - but not to him.