Letter: Keep scholarships for St. Joe athletes
To the editor of THE EAGLE:
It's too bad that St. Joseph's High School football program in Pittsfield has had to merge, but there are realities about declining Berkshire County school populations and sports involvement that are with us. Look around.
I was more struck by the attitude of the Monday Morning Quarterback Club about having to think about continuing to give scholarships to St. Joe students who play for another school. How could there be a question? Look at the 2013 team. It had a lot of problems with which to contend. Two years ago, members of the team were deprived of a chance to form a JV co-op with Taconic, because of a single "no" vote by a county athletic director. Hardly supportive of students or the sport. The team then graduated many players, and most of the coaches moved on, leaving young, largely inexperienced players. The team was hit with the loss of a respected assistant coach, Jay Horth, just before the season started.
During the season, some players and parents became discouraged and quit. The final touch was when the MIAA canceled the last game because Smith Vocational didn't want to play anymore.
The coaches and a core group of athletes from St. Joe and BART kept on through the season, practicing and playing. They did it for themselves, their schools, and the love of the game. Aren't these the lessons that we want our children to learn? How could the MMQC even think about not awarding scholarships to athletes like these? "Glory days" are nice, but one really can't live a life by them.
Keeping the scholarships would show support for the athletes, the school, and the county football program.