Athletes and coaches need to have respect

To the editor: Over the past few years having children old enough to participate in school athletics, I have had the opportunity to watch many games, baseball, soccer, as well as basketball. After speaking with numerous parents that also have children that also participate in athletics at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School and even some students that attend there, that seem to feel the same as myself, I felt compelled to write this letter. Although this is not completely school specific as this problem persists in other schools as well it seems to be just a bit more prevalent of a problem as far as boy's athletics are concerned. What ever happened to RESPECT on the field and on the courts? What has happened to the coaches over the years allowing on a regular basis athletes to miss practices consistently, have tantrums on the field or court, and curse or swear on the court or field as well as at them the coaches specifically, and yet still allow the athlete to play the game, and even more so start in the competition. What about the dedicated athlete or athletes that show up to practice day after day, game after game, and as I said earlier this certainly is not all school specific to E.L.C.S. If indeed my child did any of the above I would most certainly expect nothing less than him to be "benched" so that maybe he would think twice before showing such disrespect on the field or court again.It's certainly not all about winning the competition. I certainly realize that times have changed but not to the point that these problems can not be corrected. In my years at E.L.C.S. we had a very knowledgeable coach who got respect on a daily basis, as a physical education instructor, baseball coach, soccer coach, basketball coach, as well as an advisor. Most of the things I have talked about most assuredly would not have been tolerated by him or quite frankly any of the coaching staff at E.L.C.S. I certainly wish that my children had the distinct privilege to have been coached by Don Huntley, a man who had the respect of the entire school, teachers, parents and students alike. I myself was certainly no "angel" in high school as many of you readers can attest, but as a former athlete I certainly had respect for the coaches. I guess as you get older you have the ability to look back and reflect and realize some things were done better then, and wonder why you can not get that back now to present time, it's unfortunate. I guess my question is "Where are the Don Huntleys now?" Scott Gowdy

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