The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Community

February 22, 2014

'Mr. Madison-Grant'

Super fan Arlen Hasty travels far and wide to support athletes

(Continued)

“She’s scored 4,700 points in her career and she’s at about a 2A school like us.” She’s 89-0 in tennis and plays with a Kmart racket,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.

One can just see him revving the engine to go to Bloomington for some basketball next season.

“Evidently, she’s tougher than anything,” he says.

As much as he loves to see the top athletes, he appreciates that winning isn’t everything. At Jodi Howell’s final game, the opposing team lost and still stood and cheered for Howell, and Hasty thought the exceptional sportsmanship was memorable and showed class.

Remembering an M-G athlete who played all four years, although the coach said she wouldn’t get much playing time, his eyes misted.

“As long as they play hard and they get better as the season goes. . . I think that’s important,” he said.

Hasty gives everybody a break, even the fans. He doesn’t think that fan attendance is down so much as the number of games has escalated and the training starts much earlier. These days, he attends many junior high level games, something that was not an option in his early decades as a fan.

He has a priority system about what game he goes to, if game times conflict.

Ron Stewart, a 1988 M-G graduate, lives in Fairmount and is a relationship manager for Star Financial in Elwood. His daughters, Sloane and Mia, are M-G athletes, ages 13 and 14.

“The only time he’ll miss an M-G seventh and eighth grade girls or boys sporting event is if it conflicts with an M-G High School sporting event,” Stewart says. “He has attended their summer basketball and softball leagues numerous times since they were in the fifth grade. Arlen is the most positive and encouraging fan we have at Madison-Grant. I have never heard him once criticize a player at any age level or in any sport. When Arlen has a comment to make about a specific player, it is usually about how that player ‘has improved tremendously from the past year,’ ‘how hard they work.’ or ‘how they really hustle.’

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