LETTERS

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
Coach reflects on successful tenure

I am writing to you because I feel it is necessary to express my opinion as the former girls’ basketball coach at Centre High School.

I truly enjoyed coaching girls’ basketball and someday I hope to continue in that capacity somewhere. But for now I must say that even though I don’t I like what has happened, I do respect the decision of the school board.

I have spent 23 years coaching basketball, compiling a 411-190 record-a 68.4 percent winning percentage, averaging 17 wins per season.

At Centre I have spent the past 14 years compiling a 202-117 record-65.4 percent winning percentage, averaging 15 wins per season. Nineteen of the 23 seasons have been winning seasons for an 83 percent success rate. In 11 of the 14 years at Centre, we finished in the top three in the league. We have won four regional titles, were runners-up on two other occasions, went to six sub-states, being runners-up on two occasions, won three league tourney titles, the most recent this past season.

In summer 1995, I had the honor of coaching a Kansas all-star group of girls in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. I have coached summer AAU teams as well as worked numerous summer camps around the state. I have had the honor over the course of 23 years to have worked with many girls who have gone on to play college ball at all levels of play from juco, NAIA, NCAA Division II as well as NCAA Division I.

Over the past few seasons we have had 23 to 28 girls come out for basketball at Centre. This next season, there could be as many as 25. We have had a tremendous turnout, especially for a Class 1A school. We have had more girls come out than many schools larger than us and I hope this trend continues.

This past season our varsity and junior varsity teams went a combined 33-10 (varsity 17-7 and JV 16-3). Eighteen of those 23 players are returning along with a good group of eighth graders.

The outlook for next year looks even more promising than this past year. I feel this group of girls at the varsity level could win 19 or 20 games next year and possibly make a state appearance. I wish them the best of luck. They should have a great deal of experience as a possible nine seniors could be participating.

In the world of coaching you understand you will not please everyone, but you try to do the very best you can to bring about success. Obviously there were those who disagreed with what we did and accomplished this past year, thus my time coaching at Centre has ended. I wish the successor well and hope they have better luck pleasing the parents and patrons than I did.

I thank the school board for allowing me 14 wonderful years of coaching and to all of the girls who have participated and worked so hard over the course of those years.

Greg Wyatt

Lost Springs

Verbal terrorists at work in this county

I am currently stationed in Iraq defending these people and our country from Arab terrorists. The terrorists here are cowards whose ideas have no merit, so to get their way they resort to terrorizing people by hiding behind masks, taking cheap shots with hidden bombs, and not caring about who they hurt in the process.

These same people think they are god’s (Allah’s) gift to mankind when in reality they are more like something stuck to the bottom of your shoe after walking through the corral.

After reading the hometown newspaper, I am starting to think I am in the wrong place right now. I should be back home in Marion defending my father from verbal terrorists. Same concept as above, except without the bombs!

We call ourselves civilized and this place is a third-world country? Here in Iraq, it’s nice to hear any news from back in the States, so we like to share the hometown newspapers we get here. But there is no way I am sharing this. Embarrassing is too mild a word.

Spec. Molly E. Holub

U.S. Army

Best wishes for city’s new council members

I would like to thank the citizens of Marion for their votes and allowing me to serve them for the past 15 years. I have really enjoyed the experience of helping improve our community.

The financial state of the city is in much better condition today than it was when I took office. There are many challenges that still face us to continue to improve our city. I can only hope that the new council will continue with the positive progressive actions the previous commission has started.

During my terms there were many changes made, the most critical was the implementation of long-range planning and budgeting. Marion is now in a position to replace needed equipment-like the recently purchased fire truck-and have cash reserves on hand to help offset costs for infra structure improvements like the planned street project.

The city was able to upgrade the water treatment plant and add an additional clear well. We are in the process of adding Ozone treatment to the water plant to meet current and future Kansas Department of Health and Environment requirements and the city was able to receive a $500,000 grant-thanks to the city administrator-to partially pay for this improvement, and keep water rates from being increased in the process.

The Batt Industrial Park and the Business Park were purchased and the services installed. We have hired a full-time economic development director and have some positive activity in our business park with more announcements coming soon.

I hope that the new city council will continue in a positive manner to improve Marion as we have a lot invested in our city.

One thing I learned in this process is that the citizens of Marion are concerned about city politics. I hope these citizens will attend council meetings and learn the truth about what is going on within the city and not listen to coffeeshop gossip.

Don’t be quick to brand the new council with titles like “Rubber Stampers” without knowing the facts. The past commission always gave careful consideration to each project and purchase prior to approval. We received information about each project, analyzed it, consulted professionals and made decisions based on that information.

I wish the new council the very best and look forward to great things continuing in Marion.

Jim Crofoot

Marion

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