Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

High School

Sports letters: stories show there is more to sports than winning

In a time where being successful in sports is predicated by the number of wins and sensational plays, stories by Dave Hackenberg and Steve Junga in the Friday sports section were a nice touch.

Every day we read about the stars and the winning streaks and the titles.

What gets lost is the job that coaches like Mike Vicars, Bob Costigan, Chris Werbylo, Erik Johnson, and Adam Baumgartner do.

There are many more who deserve to be mentioned, but I'm sure you will get my point.

In a generation where you have to be a "winner" or the "best," we lose sight of the overall big picture. I praise these gentleman and the players who are fortunate to play for them.

Coaches are teachers who are responsible for any number of kids at any one season.

Teaching them that sports is an extension of life and a recipe to be your best in all aspects of life, will take these kids far. They may not go on to play college football or any other sport for that matter.

However, given the foundation to work and not give up, it will make them an asset to their communities and families.

Not every program is blessed with the talent to have winning seasons year in and year out. They do have ability to teach these players that sports can be a mentoring tool for the rest of your lives. As I like to say about the players who have played for me, "build good players, but better young men."

Great job, coaches. You will see your rewards years from now.



The teams Steve Junga wrote about (Woodward, Rossford, Otsego, Montpelier) in Friday's sports section are examples of a very special group of individuals.

Even though those boys play against teams that are able to recruit as colleges can or hear about others who cheat and bend the rules of high school athletics, they have learned the path of that higher ground and continue on.

The admiration I have for those boys of the fall (there are no others) is difficult to put into words. They work harder than in any other sport and with a better sense of team than anyone knows.

In spite of classmates who tell them they stink and folks eating popcorn in the stands criticizing them and their coaches, the team does not give up until that clock runs out.

Everyone should be in awe of their work ethic, determination, and drive. If you wish to see future leaders, you only have to go as far as your neighborhood football field.

And the players and coaches know what others do not; those who play this game are a small minority of young men who do something that no one else who walks the school halls has the guts to do.

And the coaches and players know (though many others do not) that few players can continue at the next level. Even so, those weekly warriors get dressed again on Friday night for the next battle.



The Blade sports department encourages your letters and comments. Be brief; letters will be edited for content, clarity and length, and must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Send letters to: Sports Editor, The Blade, P.O. Box 921, Toledo, OH, 43697-0921, or e-mail to

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