In a school that is steeped in tradition from leaders to athletes to the original school building itself, Bill Mosel is also a part of Thornton Township High School legacy.
You could fill a whole section with names of the great people who have come out of the Harvey high school on Broadway. This is a school with a proud past and its current students will be a part of that.
Mosel is beginning his 27th year as the Wildcats football coach and has the energy of a 27-year-old or maybe even as much as the teenagers he coaches. He has 178 wins and won a state title in 1990. In 2009, he was inducted into the Illinois Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
"I just love it, love the kids, the whole thing," Mosel said. "I love Thornton Township High School and the community. We have a lot of great people here who come out and support us."
Mosel has had 14 players play in the NFL and at one time had eight in the league -- a record. He is proud of what those guys have accomplished athletically and even more of what they have done with their lives.
"Those guys come back and help out and are good role models for our kids," Mosel said. "They used it as a positive and have made something of their lives after their NFL days were over."
Tai Streets is one of those who is on Mosel's staff. They all come back in the summer for Antwaan Randle El's camp.
Guys like Mosel and other veteran coaches are equally as proud of those who played for him and wore the purple, but did not play in the NFL, but come back.
"That always makes you feel good that they do not forget their school," Mosel said. "To think maybe you had an impact on their lives, a part of it, whether it's football or anything. As a teacher, you develop these relationships with kids and encourage them to do well.
"They come back and say, 'Coach, back then I didn't agree with you, but now as I am older, I realize what you were trying to do, trying to instill in us."
Mosel cannot forget his wife of 36 years, Petra, and their sons Bill and Bob.
"I could not have done any of this without her," Mosel said. "She had to go on the field on senior night for my sons because I was at Thornton senior night. Petra is as a big part of my success."
Mosel has always downplayed his success and coaches like him have success not because they worry about their record, but getting their team to be successful and to do things the right way. He is right in that there are a lot of good kids and people in the Harvey and Riverdale communites.
"My coaching staffs through the years -- I have had great people," Mosel said. "You can't win without great assistants. the community -- you see how they come out for the games. Always willing to help. When you have great people in your school, program, it makes it that much more fun."
Saturday afternoon football in Harvey is a show in itself with the band playing the school fight song after games and leading the crowd down Broadway back to the school. Mosel and his staff will make sure the fans have something to cheer about.
This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.