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Friday, March 1, 2024

Coach’s job is to teach sportsmanship – Daily Freeman

I saw in today’s Sports section (Feb. 4) that the Kingston High boys basketball team defeated Pine Bush by a score of 103-36.

I have been a  high school basketball coach (mostly in New York City) for about 40 years. As a coach, I find this “news” to be despicable.

I’m sure that the players on the Kingston team feel pretty good about themselves for breaking 100 points and winning by nearly 70 points but the only thing that can have been accomplished is to embarrass the kids on the other team and perhaps, as they are young, have soured them on the concept of team sports. As an adult and a high school coach, Ron Kelder should be ashamed of himself. His team gets no boost in the rankings for slaughtering an obviously weak team. They will be seeded in the postseason in the same spot as they would have if they had won by 20 or 30.

There are many things that could have been done to prevent such a massacre, such as playing his substitutes for a good portion of the game, slowing down the offensive pace and taking off full-court pressure (which, although I did not see the game, I would assume his team applied throughout).

In addition to teaching skills, the job of a high school coach is to teach sportsmanship which is the opposite of what he and his team showed. He should be punished by the school’s athletic director if not the school principal and the program should be censured by OCIAA (the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association).

The Freeman article appears to be praising the Tigers and their coach rather than criticizing the coach and that, I believe, is absolutely irresponsible.

— Mitch Newman

New Paltz


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