Understanding what matters

After reading Joe Albright’s diatribe on the state of Class A girls’ basketball, I feel it important to respond. You ask if anything that happens the rest of the year in Class A is going to matter? Yes, sir, it most definitely does matter. And you say “Don’t get me wrong Parkersburg Catholic fans.”

Well, I am a fan of Parkersburg Catholic as well as every other Class A team that works hard to reach the state tournament with integrity, practice and perseverance. And I did not get you wrong. You, sir, have lost sight of what hometown sports are truly about.

You see, your so-called diagnosis of “not-enough-competition” is well beyond your professional qualification to diagnose and an insult to every team in the sport. Every single one of these teams, their coaches and, most importantly, the athletes themselves are doing the best they can with what they have. Some teams are given more opportunities and have more options available to them. Some can afford to travel great distances and compete beyond their region and some cannot. Some players are driven to greater opportunities in the basketball arena and some are playing to form a bond with other teammates and get out of their shell. Some coaches have years of experience and some agreed to coach because a team needed them and no one else would step up. Sports, sir, is about far more than a state title.

And what do you have against the LKC? Is it your intention to imply that a state banner is the only benefit to playing team sports? Are you saying that we could eliminate all games and just play for a banner? What is your point? You singled Wirt out — shame on you by the way — in reference to a 60-point defeat. Do you mean to say that their team should simply not compete? Are you saying that those girls will learn nothing from their experience? Leadership? Perseverance? Dedication? Mr. Albright, a defeat such as your example builds character. These young women should hold their heads high and walk confidently into every competition for when the going got tough, they kept going.

Shame on you.

Associate Sports Editor is a position that you earned through hard work and dedication to your craft. It is a position of honor in your field. I can only imagine that you, too, had to persevere to end up where you are. I would no sooner presume to suggest that writing for a hometown paper is less important than writing for The New York Times, a “banner” of sorts. It is a victory. One you should be proud of. So, I suggest that you should use your opportunity to foster each and every athlete in our community. Write about statistics and hard work rather than picking apart our LKC teams and what opportunities they have.

And to all the hard working women playing Class A girls’ basketball, EVERYTHING you do matters. Keep up the good work and you will be the leaders of tomorrow. Well done.

Jerry Shaw