GREENFIELD — When Adam Sherman was hired as Greenfield-Central’s new head football coach in February, he emphasized three pillars.

In short, he calls them O.P.G. (Optimism, Passion and Gratitude), a philosophy he picked up as a member of coach Ted Karras Jr.’s staff at Marian University.

In the past few weeks, Sherman and the Cougars put words into action as the new coach, assistant coach Joshua Holden and several players committed their time and gave back.

Prior to Memorial Day, the Cougars assisted the American Legion Post 119 in setting up more than 780 American flags at Park Cemetery to honor military veterans from Hancock County. Each flag was accompanied with a dog tag naming a veteran that has passed on.

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The players and coaches worked with Ray Crickmore, a World War II Navy veteran, who helped oversee the installation of the “Avenue of Flags.”

Among the flags the Cougars arranged, one was dedicated to Clayton Myers, who coached Greenfield-Central to its only football state championship in 1973.

“We’re going to create a culture here where we want these guys waking up in the morning and feeling like they’re the best in the state in whatever it is whether at their position, in the classroom or in the community,” Sherman said upon his arrival over the winter.

After spending the past three years at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio, Sherman became Greenfield-Central High School’s first new head football coach since 2006.

Sherman, 33, is a graduate of Lawrence North. A standout lineman for the Lawrence North Wildcats in his high school career, Sherman played for Roger Dodson, and now he takes over for him after the former Greenfield-Central coach resigned this past fall.

After high school, Sherman went on to start four years as an offensive lineman at the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne. There he was a two-time NAIA All-American and a three-time MSFA All-Mid-East selection before embarking on his coaching career.

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Rich Torres is sports editor at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at rtorres@greenfieldreporter.com or 317-477-3227.