I am writing to respond to Dave Sweeney's letter to the editor in the Dec. 9 issue of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. In my 45 years as a resident of Wood County, I have been amazed at the quality of student/athlete that we have. All of our four county high schools have excelled in the classroom, community and in the athletic arenas.
During my 43 years of coaching and administrating of athletics, I have never seen Sweeney on the sidelines coaching or acting as an administrator. As a causal fan then, he should have noticed this year's Big Reds lacked size and speed to be a championship team.
Sweeney should know that high school teams cannot recruit. As an observer of this year's Big Reds, since they played pee wee ball, I would conclude that the players have won very few championships in middle school, as freshmen, or as JV players. I believe they have overachieved this year by winning four games, and four of their six losses were against playoff teams.
Our society today has gone to the extreme of winning championships or you are a failure. Coach Reeves was a very successful middle school coach in Wood County, nurturing many players who went on to help the Big Reds win championships. I believe the quality of athletes goes in cycles. Why were these traditional powers absent from the playoffs this year? Brooke, Fairmont Senior, North Marion and Weirton.
We don't just have successful teams in Wood County, we have great programs based upon the continuity and longevity of coaches like Oldham, Jackson, Burns, Fosselman, Gardner, Harnish, James, Pam Reeves, Tennant, Leathy, Fred and Scott Sauro and Smith.
Our four Wood County high school football teams did not have the years they had hoped for. What is the answer? Fire the coaches? Run off the players? Can the administrators? No. We should rally behind our teams. The Big Reds gained valuable experience this year and Hamilton and Jackson displayed size and speed in the Wood County Middle School championship.
Let's give the players and coaches some credit.