"Free time" probably isn't a term in Missi Roper's vocabulary. "I just make time its hard sometimes but I do it."
This mother of two serves as the PTO President at Tunnel Hill Elementary, coaches basketball, and handles team mom and scorebook duties for her son Will's baseball team. "People just don't understand what goes into rec sports, with just doing the paperwork. Its not about showing up to practice and to a game, there's a lot more there to do."
Roper does all this while working and attending school to earn her degree in early childhood education. Her mother, Debbie White, says "I can remember a time when she'd say Mom you're crazy, you just give so much time to... And now she's having to eat crow so to speak."
Roper played basketball, softball, and volleyball in high school, and always wanted to coach. So, two years ago, when no one volunteered to head up her son's basketball team, she took it on, despite being pregnant. "Some of the parents were there, biting their nails thinking at any time we were going to be calling 911 to come get her," says White.
Roper even returned to coaching, four-days after delivering Brantley, her second son, by caesarian section. "I had to be there for those boys. Of course I had my husband chasing me down the sidelines saying you're going to hurt yourself, you're going to hurt yourself," says Roper.
Along with teaching children the fundamentals of her favorite sport, she also takes care of their other needs, like providing Gatorade to finding them athletic shoes. Mother in law, Conda Little, says Missi "never thinks of herself, ever. She never puts herself in first in front of anybody."
This summer, Roper will be working with the Whitfield County Schools food program to make sure children get a good meal daily while on summer break.
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