High school football leagues should go to a mercy rule and end the game at a spread of 42 if a coach can be suspended under a “lopsided scores policy” [“Lopsided win gets coach suspended,” News, Oct. 31]. Plainedge’s opposition in its Oct. 25 game was strong; South Side was still trying to score and win.
This situation in which Plainedge High School coach Rob Shaver was suspended for a game is pathetic. We live in a global economy. These kids need to understand that China doesn’t compete in business handcuffed by a “don’t do your best to compete and win” approach. There are no safe spaces in life or in business.
Back in the 1980s, when I played basketball and football at at Plainview John F. Kennedy High School, our teams lost our share of blowouts. Not sure we ever won a blowout. No biggie. I loved to compete and always wanted my opponent to give his best. That is respect.
There is shame in someone waving a white flag and having your opponent treat you as a joke unworthy of their best players and best effort. There is never any shame in trying your best and losing.
I have had my share of great coaches, but one stands out, Rob Shaver, who coached me in football and wrestling from 2000-2004 at Plainedge High School.
Coach Shaver sets the example by not only saying, but by doing. He never just told us about the importance of working hard, he instilled it in us at every practice. He never just talked about setting goals, he had us write them down. Not only did we begin to believe they were possible, he did, too.
Rather than lecture us about being good people, he showed us how. He taught me about winning with humility and losing with pride, about standing up for what is right and admitting when you are wrong. Coach Shaver taught me the difference between living in the moment and being ambitious for the future.
More than anything else, my coach taught me to never, ever give up, no matter the circumstances. Whatever you believe you can achieve! Fifteen-plus years later, he is everything I strive to be as a coach, but more important, as a person. Every day, I ask myself, “What would Coach Shaver do in this situation?” Thank you, Coach.
Christopher Dethwick Jr.,
Editor’s note: The writer is an elementary school teacher and the head wrestling coach at White Plains High School.