Back in late April, the school board voted in a controversial 5-4 decision to dismiss the Chambersburg High School boys basketball coach Shawn Shreffler. Shreffler and the Trojans took home a District 3 title this past season. So why would this coach that so many liked and respected be removed by the board? their reason, he was dismissed for his alleged language usage, something we asked his players about. My thoughts, parental interference.
If there is one thing I cannot stand when it comes to high school athletics, it's the parents. My parents have supported me, and my three sisters in our athletics and continue to as my sister plays lacrosse for Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and my sister playing lacrosse in high school. As a student athlete and now sitting in the stands of my sisters lacrosse games, I see these kind of parents in action. The ones who call the coach and complain why their kid isn't playing and why they yelled at their kid. Most of the time, it's not the coach's fault, it's their kid.
I played high school football. People are passionate in my part of Pennsylvania about the game, and so are the coaches. Any parent who thinks their son's high school locker room is a PG rated environment, they need a reality check, quickly .
There's an old saying. "What happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room." As a former athlete, that holds strong. Your son's are between the ages of 15 and 18. It's a point where they are young adults who need to learn to become men. Sounds too intense? Then your kid shouldn't play sports. Chess is more their speed.
When it comes to language, parents, your kids swear more than George Carlin at a comedy festival hosted by Louis C.K. Dismissed for foul language? If that was the case, every coach would be fired if someone complained about language.
Some of our best memories of high school football was when our coach was furious with our performance, with quotes we still are trying to confirm, which always makes us laugh when we get together with the old coaches around Christmas or in the summer. In the case of Shreffler, I think a few words were said. From what his players said when defending him, they said he never did. Even if he did, the Trojan basketball players liked him that much to defend him against the school board, who if any of them, at least the four who voted to keep him, know what happens in high school sports.
Why is this story get me fired up? After my junior year, our coach was on the chopping block, not for his "language", but our performance in his first four years as head coach. All of us attended the Monday school board meeting, making up most of the turnout in the auditorium. Although the debate was not as heated as the Shreffler story, our attendance convinced an almost unanimous vote to keep him. The board was not the only antagonist in this story. Parents who were convinced that their son was not getting the time he deserved would call the coach and even the athletic director. We won the battle to keep him as coach, but we sent a message when our team qualified for the postseason the very next season.
This is where I turn into my father and grandfather. Kids are soft these days. It seems that a high school kids experience in athletics is a day at the beach from when I played. Our coaches had high expectations and made us work hard so that we could reach our high potential. I'm proud to call those coaches friends today. If there is a place where a young male can learn a lot about life and hard work, high school sports is a great place. My parents always told me that they would never, ever call a coach if I wasn't playing. It meant I wasn't working hard enough and needed to handle the problem myself, BY WORKING HARDER AND LISTENING TO MY COACH.
The decision on Shawn Shreffler is one that the school board will regret, especially when elections come around in the near future. Shreffler's success is tainted by those few who complain. Those who don't know the meaning of hard work and cry to their parents, thinking a call to the coach or school board will make everything better. It seems that this will hang over the districts head for a long time, as many were outraged when Chambersburg announced the hiring of new head coach Franklin Gantz.
In the end, a great coach was fired for the wrong reasons.
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Let's face it, if it wasn't for Verlander taking a no-no into the ninth inning, most Pirates fans would've turned the game off and tried to look for something else to watch. It wouldn't have helped, TBS was showing "Lake Placid" and if you weren't crazy about the Celtics-76ers game, you were stuck on ROOT Sports for the night.
Justin Verlander, who already has two no-hitters in his career, was going for number three against the offensively challenged Pittsburgh Pirates. It got to the point where many Pirates fans accepted that not one Bucco would see first base at Comerica Park Friday night. With Verlander still throwing near 100 mph into the ninth inning, you couldn't blame Pittsburgh fans for wanting to see a no-hitter, which would have been the first one against the Pirates in 41 years, which is amazing to think about when you look at the unfortunate tailspin the team has been in since Sid Bream was called safe in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.
Of course, there were many who despite wanting to see the Pirates go without a hit and see one of the leagues best current pitchers get his third no-no, that may have wanted to see it come to an end. Of course, Josh Harrison made sure Verlander only threw 8 1/3 innings of hitless baseball, there seemed to be disappointment by many, relief for others, and a sense for a few that feel they wasted a night watching the Pirates ruin an historical night in Detroit.
I think it's good Harrison squeaked that ball in for a single. One, is the Pirates shortcomings this season and in the previous 19. It's enough that a winning record has been as reliable as Kordell Stewart in an important playoff game since 1992, but if you wanted to break the spirit of a roster whose bats have been left to a whimper for a good part of the first 40 games of the season, getting blanked against an elite pitcher who you are seeing once every so many years with Interleague play, that would've done it.
Then again, maybe a no-hitter would generate a change in the Pirates clubhouse. A man can dream, but if you dream of a AAA player from Indianapolis coming up to save the Pirates offense, just stay asleep, or put yourself in a self-induced coma. Let's just hope this never happens again. For most, you'll be wishing that it results in the no-hitter, making your Friday night of watching the Pirates worth while.
It's my first Sunday back in the Pittsburgh area since graduating from Shippensburg. Thought I would catch up on the blog while moving back in.
Four Good Soccer Hours
Like most of the soccer in this country, you had to be up early this morning to watch it. Manchester City, Manchester United, most people who really love soccer in America like these teams. While there is support for them, but what about taking that excitement and putting it toward making soccer a more interesting game here in this country? The MLS has a limited following while many look toward Europe for their soccer. Is the quality of play better? Yes. Of course the LA Galaxy signed David Beckham after his prime, trying to spike some excitement, but that was short lived. Like many Americans, we'll see you in 2014 for the World Cup.
YES, PIRATES BASEBALL
It's been an interesting home stand for the Pittsburgh Pirates. When Barajas gets the walk-off against the Nationals, you're asking for a less than normal week.
The Pirates pitching has been answering the call, the hitting is still going directly to voice mail. McDonald pitched an amazing game Friday night against the Astros. A 1-0 loss in which the Pirates saw a bases loaded, no out sixth inning go away as the top of the order went down one, two, three. A.J. Burnett pitched well after his disaster in St. Louis a week earlier. Many chalked it up as a loss in the eighth. The Pirates tying it up in the ninth had many changing their attitudes. A pitching change in the bottom of the 12th lead to a double by Barmes set up Harrison to bring him home on a walk-off RBI single. So not a bad home stand for Pittsburgh. 4-2 and taking two of three from both the Nationals and Astros works for any fan.
So, time to kick back and watch the Kings and Coyotes, two teams most forget about in hockey and never had in their Western Conference Final picks.