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Selfless teammate and coach deserved better

Letter to the Editor

 


I played football with Geary Oliver, and he was the ultimate teammate. He sacrificed for others; his interest was always in the team and its needs, and he sacrificed his ego for that end. This was 1978, over 30 years ago. We were a good team with a winning record who missed the league championship by one game. Geary has been involved with LRHS football through many of the recent years, thin times often. When he took over the head coaching role, I was very excited to see his team progress and the excitement for football return to LRHS. Despite the progress, he has been asked to resign by the school board.

His noble acceptance of the district’s decision to ask for his resignation seems to me another example of his willingness to surrender his own ego to try and make sure the next season and the next coach starts fresh. I think the way Geary has been treated is shameful. His years of effort were dismissed without an explanation or acknowledgement or appreciation. Small school districts need community support. In sports programs, it means manpower, people like Geary, who worked as an assistant for years for the good of kids (The salary, when broken out hourly, likely doesn’t equal minimum wage in 1978).

Treatment of people in this manner gives the community one more reason not to support their school sports programs, not to volunteer, not to provide business support — all which were quite tangible when sports programs, though imperfect, were at least a matter of pride for students and the community. It seems to me the least the school board could do is thank Geary for his service and recognize its importance. They will continue to need people like him, and they need to make it clear they realize and value them.

Bruce Holbert

LRHS 1978

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