Opp honorees: Don’t let others limit you

Published 1:10 am Friday, May 11, 2018

Don’t let others set limitations for you, top honorees from Opp’s Hall of Fame banquet said on Thursday night.

“Young people don’t think they’re not good enough until someone says that they’re not good enough,” Mike DuBose, the 2018 of the One of Opp’s Very Own award, said.

Mike Dubose

DuBose, the former head football coach at the University of Alabama, said that he’d seen limitations set on younger people from his time as a high school teacher and a coach.

“We call it flea training,” he said.

“Where a flea trainer takes a flea, puts it in a bottle. That flea’s natural instinct is to get ahead, just like our natural instinct is to.”

When the flea jumps, it hits its head on the seal of the bottle, DuBose said.

“After two or three days of jumping and hitting its head, the flea won’t try to jump as high. It will learn to jump only as high as it won’t hurt itself.”


Once the flea is released from its bottle, it will never try to jump as high as it used to.

“That flea trainer put a man-made limitation on that flea and one of my greatest pet peeves is teachers that set limitations on their students.”

DuBose also talked about his time playing for the legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“Bear Bryant used to always say, ‘If you believe in yourself and have dedication- and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards,’” he said.

Allen Miller, the 2018 Hall of Fame Inductee, said that the impact that people have on others’ lives is tremendous, especially teachers.

“Teachers have a huge impact on others’ lives. Every student you teach has potential,” Miller said.

“You may not think a student has any potential but they do.”

Miller is living proof of that, as the first in his family to graduate from Kinston High School and to actually go on to college.

Miller’s first job was teaching government, history and economics at Opp High School. He retired as the system’s superintendent.

“If someone would’ve told me when I was younger that I would have gone on and graduated from the University of Alabama. You know what the education was for my family in the 1940s? It was how to grow corn, cotton, peanuts and fatten hogs. That was it.”

Miller credits his strive for greatness to God and two teachers from his high school.

“When I think about the success I enjoyed in my life, I give God credit for everyday,” he said.

“The first people who ever said to me, ‘You need to go to college,’ was my English teacher and my high school principal,” he said.

Miller says he remembers students that teachers didn’t think were going to be successful.

“Every student you teach has potential and it may not be what you think it is,” he said.

During the banquet, the chamber also recognized:

  • Diane Calhoun as Opp Elementary School’s teacher of the year.
  • Bobby Fleming as Opp Middle School’s teacher of the year.
  • Heather Bryan as Opp High School’s teacher of the year.
  • James D. Clare as the Trailmaster of the year.
  • Joe Richburg as the 2018 Spirit of Opportunity.
  • American Apparel as Opp’s Business of the year.