Letters to the Editor for 11/16/09

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GHS sportsmanship applauded

This letter was addressed to Galax High School Principal Bill Sutherland and was copied to Galax school leaders.

I am writing to share something that occurred after the Nov. 6 football game at Galax High School … because what happened is nothing I had ever experienced at any high school event.

As I was leaving the field with three Narrows High School football assistant coaches, we walked up the steps through the lingering home crowd that had just watched a great performance from their Maroon Tide players.

When I took the first step into the stadium, a young man of primary school age reached for my hand and said, “Good game, coach.”

Of course, I am not a coach, but I shook his hand, thanked him, and began to make my way up the stairs. At every step, persons on both sides of the aisle shook my hand and wished me well.

Some said, “Good game.” Others said, “Have a safe trip home.” And still others said, “Good luck in the playoffs.”

I didn’t count how many hands I shook, but it had to have been nearly two dozen.

Those greeting me and wishing me well ranged from the first child I encountered, to middle schoolers enjoying a Friday night out, high school kids watching their friends, parents supporting their children, and diehard old-timers who never miss a game.

As I started my truck and prepared for the long trip back to Narrows, I nearly felt I might cry from the outpouring of sportsmanship your students, players, fans, parents and community showed.

I have left many an opposing high school venue to all manner of jeers and taunts, and I have enjoyed some excellent sportsmanship from good Southwest Virginia people who love their schools and their kids much the way that I do the Green Wave.

But I have never experienced anything so impressive as the kindness extended to me, our coaches, players, and fans that Friday night at Galax High School, and I will never forget it.

Please share my thanks and appreciation to your coaches, players, fans and community. I can only hope that our fans will treat you and yours with similar respect and hospitality.

Rex Gearheart


Narrows High School