During the past week, I have received two letters to the editor. One was a handwritten account of how poorly I had done in covering certain activities and my lack of attention to same. The other was more of a response to the disdain another person felt about the lack of wins for the Berryville football program.
Neither of these letters were signed. They were sent anonymously.
So, in the future, if you are going to take the time to coin a response, have the decency, and courage, to disclose who you are. I have been in this business long enough to know that I have a target on my back. I am under scrutiny at every turn. I enjoy it. Negativity rolls off me like water off a duck's back. My only response to those who write in is always that I appreciate that person taking the time to communicate with me...good, bad or indifferent. It shows that they have enough concern about the situation to take time out of their busy schedule to share their opinions, ones I take heavily into consideration.
My paycheck comes from my employer. But I work for you, the communities we serve.
And for the lady or gentleman who has a beef with Berryville football coach Eric Daniel, I am quite sure he would schedule a meeting with you and have that conversation. I have been around high school coaches for the past 25 years and played for a few more in my day. I have seen the spectrum of winning and losing, including the high school football team I played for, which averaged one win a year while I was there.
I was the punter and the running joke was that I took almost as many snaps as the quarterback. Our coach was one of the kindest men you would ever want to know. He taught my daughter two years ago in junior high at the same school and treated her like royalty, no differently than every other kid on that campus.
I have also seen teams and coaches who put such a priority on winning that the safety and mental taxation on their athletes was detrimental. I saw kids grow up too fast then end up hating sports and taking the frustrations they learned from their coach into real life.
Coach Daniel teaches more than X's and O's -- every coach does. Some just place more emphasis on winning than others. Every coach wants to win, including Eric Daniel. But if every coach was terminated because of the number of wins and losses at the end of the year, 50 percent of all high school coaches across the nation would be out of a job every season.
Daniel has been here for only a short time. It takes time to build a program. It takes time to build a system. It takes time to learn the ropes of being a head coach. He loses a few games, and some reader is calling for his job? I would like to know who it is and where he is employed just to see the quality of his work. Let's put him in the weekly spotlight then sit around during the weekend and decide whether or not he still deserves to go to work on Monday.
And I dare you to take on the challenge of spending several hours a day with a testosterone-driven group of young men whose attention spans last about as long as a bag of candy at daycare. Coaches either become callous and treat their programs like the military, or they develop a genuine concern for their players and families and attempt to create well-rounded individuals.
Next time you get ready to write a letter criticizing your high school coach, you might want to think about which direction you want your program to go.
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Chan Davis is the Sports Editor at the Carroll County News. Contact him at email@example.com or 870-654-2742.