Originally created 09/17/00

Sound off on sports letters

My son was recently chosen as a member of the Columbia County 11- and 12-year-old Dixie Youth All-Star baseball team. This was an honor that he had worked hard to achieve. He had played very hard during the season and was truly excited when he found out that he would be a member of this elite group of youngsters.

When he reported for practice, several parents, including myself, began to notice that the head coach and the other two coaches did not appear to be getting along well. We also noticed that plays were being done incorrectly. When comments were made to the head coach, he very quickly said that was his team, and he would call plays as he saw fit. I encouraged my son to continue practicing and playing according to the coach's rules because we had made the commitment to play.

After several other incidents occurred, many of the youngsters on the team grew discouraged. We finally called the Columbia County Recreation Department, and a representative was sent to have a meeting with us. We were informed that numerous complaints had been voiced concerning this team.

During our second game, my son was not allowed to play or to bat. The rules plainly state that each member of the team must bat at least once. When I voiced my opinion, I was told that this was his team. The coach even stated that he never wanted my child to play, even though he played hard and never missed practice.

Another major concern is that a very talented young man was not allowed to play because he had been dismissed from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct. But our head coach had been dismissed from a game for the same reason and was allowed to continue coaching. Are coaches allowed to act any way they please regardless of the effects their behavior may have on others?

My whole concern is that activities such as these should help to strengthen a child's self worth and should be handled fairly. My son realizes now that life is not fair. Furthermore, what did the Columbia County Recreation Department do to correct the problems they knew existed? It appears that they did not want the best for any of the youngsters involved.

I caution all parents who are given the opportunity to play in this league to be very cautious because fairness for all is not followed, as well as a genuine concern for your child's self worth will not be considered. It has been proven that our coach was out to do things his way regardless of how he left the children feeling. He had no concern for them at all. We are curious to see how Columbia County Recreation Department will rectify these problems.

It is easy to see why we lost both games. It often has been proven that a ship that has no master will get lost at sea. Our master was obviously willing to let his ship sail astray.

Rhonda Brown, Grovetown

I never have written to the paper before, but since the saga about John Rocker, I am glad to express my feeling about it.

First, I was raised in an area near the Rocker family in Bulloch County near Portal, Ga. We attended the same church in the country. The Rockers were farmers just like my family. I never heard or knew of any of that family doing anything against anyone.

I am almost 82 years old. I knew all of John's older relatives ... I know how these young folks like to "show out" and say things they should not speak. I think some people have made too much about the whole thing. I have prayed for John and his family. I know it hurts them.

Veta H. Messer, Augusta


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