Letter: Out-of-town support for Coach Hallie Blunt

Most of you may know me. By the time I get done with this, you will know what’s on my mind. This is in regards to the coach Blunt issue. I may be a bit slow; it takes a few days to get the paper. But where are your school board members’ heads? Kids work hard to get what they want. Most importantly, in the classroom. If they don’t have grades no matter what their skill level they don’t play. So why should it be different on the floor of a gym? Or out on the mat, football field, and golf, does it matter what sport it is? Yes, some kids may go home and cry they didn’t make varsity, for whatever the reason may be. But you can’t expect the coach to make every kid their No. 1 ball player. Yes, every coach has their favorites. But they have them for a reason. Maybe one kid excels in the classroom and still plays sports, maybe not with the skills as others ahead of them. Could he or she be a favorite? High school is about competing. If you have a kid that is at a great skill level, but can’t play with the team, how does that help the team? This whole thing stems from some kid or kids going home and saying, “oh, the coach doesn’t like me.” I have never been around a coach at any level that doesn’t put out the effort for any kid that struggles or is not as good as the other kids. Sometimes I was on that side of the coach. My skills in some cases sucked. That’s part of life. Try harder. My parents didn’t listen if I said the coach didn’t like me. Or a teacher didn’t like me. They told me to try harder! Now, I don’t have kids of my own. But I know my brother and sisters would never tell their kids, yeah, you’re right, you should be out there starting every game. They don’t blame the coach! If you look, there is most likely a reason they’re not playing. Maybe they goof off in practice. How many parents or school board members go and watch that? I could go on and on here, but seriously, pull your heads out. Don’t blame the coach. Yes, we all have our pasts. If that was a problem, maybe the board should have addressed it then. Not use it as an excuse later. Somebody’s kid went home crying. Sorry, you’re in high school now. It’s not all about you. It’s about your team and winning. Not everyone gets a ribbon. Not everyone is a winner. But with hard work you can achieve more. Deal with it. That’s what high school sports are about. If your kid didn’t make varsity, look and see why, before pulling strings and blaming the coach.
Freshman level: Build your skill level, learn what it takes to be competitive, learn how to be a teammate, and work as a team.
JV level: Hone in on those skills, bust your butt and try to show your coach you have what takes to move to the next level.
Varsity level: Win. If you can’t win, make them work for it. Try harder next time. Be as competitive as you can to win for your team and yourself. This isn’t for everyone. Some want to win state and that’s it. Some want to pursue their skills to the next level. Others just want to have fun competing. Whatever reason, it is to win!
This is my last statement. Growing up in Meeker, I have seen coaches come and go. The good ones stay and make their stand. Then through small-town politics, the town destroys them. I have had one of the best coaches in the state win and win again just to be stripped of everything they worked for. Another coach, who I didn’t compete under, but he did the same thing, work and win. Mrs. Blunt appears to be the same thing. I know she is competitive and I know she likes to win. That is why you put her in the position. If you let the small-town politics get rid of her for trying to put the best team out to win, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your kid’s feelings are hurt. Buy them a ribbon. Maybe that will make them feel better. I know when I lost, it was my fault. I didn’t get a ribbon. I was told to try harder.
To the ones who did this to this coach, here is your ribbon. I hope when you don’t get re-elected, or your kids don’t have what it takes under the new coach, maybe you can tell them to try harder. Oh, and maybe you can get your ribbon as you walk out the door.
Time for Meeker to give up on the small-town politics. And hurt feelings. You got rid of a coach that taught kids how to win with work. Not how to win with skills.
Granted, the coach should be upheld to the same standards as the kids. I feel the school board has let everyone down on all levels by not addressing these issues at the time. But by waiting to use other excuses and feelings to base a decision that wasn’t justified. Or, if it was, the paper sure didn’t give it out. Other than, “This is how we feel.” If you have a problem, take it head-on. In the board’s position, tell the people why you made these choices. You’re there for the public, not your personal feelings. Ask the people what they think. Get more than one opinion. And be held accountable for your decisions. The coach has done that. As for myself and others, I find the board’s actions silly, for the fact they hide behind the next fall-guy when his turn comes around. I wish I was there to help vote some new people in.
I hope two other friends of mine who coach in your town don’t have to go through the same thing. I know one of them very well, also a basketball coach, who hears all the same comments from parents. And he works on every kid as hard as the next. He takes the unskilled and helps them be skilled. The kids that struggle, he helps. The kids that want to do better, he helps. Now, stand behind your coaches and help them. Not every kid gets a ribbon. If they try, they will find it within themselves first, and may go on to achieve great things.
Thank you for hearing my outside view.
Garrett Morris