Cole White: A different perspective
To the editor:
I wanted to take the time to provide a little different perspective on the recent events up at the high school surrounding the football team, the coaching staff and administration. I also wanted to take time to thank Kelly McCormick, the new Moffat County High School principal, and the football coaching staff for being very attentive and responsive to the concerns of parents and athletes. While I have just made Mr. McCormick’s acquaintance, I have known coach Kip Hafey and some of his assistants for a number of years now and know them to be great coaches and individuals who have the welfare of our children and their best interest at heart in everything they do and never would put our children in harm’s way on purpose.
As a parent of an incoming freshman, I was concerned and dismayed when I heard reports about some of the events that took place at the football camp in Wyoming, most all of which took place outside the sight and knowledge of our coaches. We place trust in those hired to be coaches but we also place trust in our boys to be responsible and make good decisions, because coaches can’t be in all places at all times, just as we can’t be in all places at all times for our children.
For many of these student athletes, this is their first time away from home and the first time when they are free to make decisions on their own. Oftentimes, our children are going to make decisions that aren’t good, and things we don’t approve of will take place. Our responsibility as parents and coaches is to work to resolve problems and correct bad behavior when it occurs. I know personally that coach Hafey and Mr. McCormick responded to our concerns very quickly and have been working with students, parents and coaching staff to provide a very fair and balanced inquiring into the reports that have been presented to them, with the goal of making sure they don’t happen again.
What more could we ask as parents? Is it fair to demand that they control every athlete at all times both on and off the field and expect they have the ability and/or responsibility to prevent every bad behavior from happening? Or is it more reasonable to expect them to teach our young men correct principles and set rules and help them govern themselves while providing them with opportunities to grow as young men and leaders? I, for one, believe it to be the latter of the two. I’m not happy with all the choices that every young man made up at that camp, but I am proud of the young men who felt they could talk to their parents, coaches and principal when they felt things weren’t right; I’m proud of the individuals who have apologized for anything they did that was out of line or caused others pain and have committed to not doing it again; I’m proud of coach Hafey for his concern and work to address these issues; and I’m proud of our new administration at the high school that took the concerns of parents and students seriously. Bad things happen in life. What we do about it once it happens defines who we are, and we are fortunate to have people like coach Hafey and Mr. McCormick helping us as parents raise our boys into young men.