Wonderful story about Austin Clark, the Hixson football player with special needs. Hats off to Coach Fitzgerald for embracing this opportunity to teach more than football skills to his team, school, and community. Football is about learning life lessons not winning state. Go Wildcats!
It spotlights the sad fact that many programs place winning above all else. Promising athletes are identified in middle school Amateur Athletic Union. Coaches "drool," and staff armed with hardship forms approach parents/students with the opportunity to play for a winning program. Does anyone believe these are perennial winners with the talent pool zoned to their schools? No! They recruit. Call it what it is. "Hardship waivers" are concocted and parents, coaches, and administrators teach athletes that the rules are for everybody else. Those zoned to a school miss opportunities while recruited stars play. Coaches and gifted athletes feel invincible. Adult and student fans become arrogant and disrespectful to opponents.
The institutionalized cheating is reprehensible. Hamilton County Department of Education and Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association should scrutinize every hardship waived athlete and do the right thing even if it is unpopular. Teach our students that rules foster law, order, and fairness.
A ELIZABETH BROCK
I could hardly believe what I saw on the front page in full color on Saturday, Aug 24. The Brainerd High School football team in the bleachers with a caption under the photo alleging that lightning was responsible for delaying the game. There is lightning in the area of the playing field, so instead of sending the players into the tunnel or locker room, they are sent to the highest point in the stadium? I'm no meteorologist, and certainly not an expert in lightning strikes, but conventional wisdom says to avoid being the "highest point" in your surroundings with lightning in the area.
Not the newspaper's fault. Not even implying that. All you folks did was take the photos (another one with fans and band members tucked away on page A8) and publish the story. But, what were the sports directors thinking? I hope the Chattanooga area doesn't have a rash of people being struck by lightning based on what your published pictures implied might be the thing to do, when lightning is likely.
STEVE ORENDER, Dayton, Tenn.
I could not let David Cook's rant from Aug. 21 stand unanswered. When did love begin to exclude discipline? There are two parts to the church's doctrine; law and gospel. That no one wants to hear the law or see the church act on it does not remove it from the Bible. And there is more than a single verse about homosexuality. Further, could you please tell me what verse says anything to the contrary of God finding the act of homosexuality an abomination? You seem to suggest there are thousands. I suppose what you really meant was there are thousands on love. Again I ask, when did love start to mean we don't care what you do? When Christ talks to the people who come to Him, He forgives them their sins, often with the admonition to sin no more. He doesn't say "I love you, so do whatever you want, I don't care." Love for a homosexual should be no different than that shown any other individual. What the church should not accept is an open homosexual lifestyle. There is no escaping the fact that God hates it; not the person, the lifestyle. And so should the church.