Don't be quick to criticize

I was happy to see several members of the Carson High football team write to the Appeal in defense of head coach Shane Quilling.

They made good points in their letter.

Kids are soft these days. If something is tough, they retreat rather than tackle the issue head-on. They think playing time is a given and not something they should have to earn through skill and hard work.

And I do believe that parents who are so quick to criticize coaches need to step back and keep their mouths shut. Parents aren't out there every day for practice, and I would venture to bet 90 percent of them don't know enough about a given sport to second-guess anybody. They need to understand that their child might not be as good as they think, and that fact needs to be accepted.

Instead of grousing about playing time, kids should work harder to try to attain more playing time. Parents who let kids quit aren't setting a good example.

If kids quit something like high school football, what are they going to do when they get to adulthood and get in an argument with their spouse? Walk out? What are they going to do if they don't agree with management? Quit and put their family in financial jeopardy?

Quilling recently told me about a young man who quit the varsity team because he wasn't starting. The player was seeing action on special teams, but apparently that wasn't good enough. Quilling asked the player if he was better than the starter, and the player admitted he wasn't. Go figure.

When I was a student at De La Salle, the school had a rule that if you quit a sport you couldn't play another sport for a calendar year. Harsh? Maybe, but it will make kids think twice about the consequences of their actions.

When kids quit they are not only quitting on themselves, but they are quitting on their classmates, and that's not right.

If sports were easy, everybody would do them and be successful. Sports aren't easy, and I applaud the football and basketball players in the area who give their sports year-round attention.

Playing a sport year-round is relatively new, but it's the way of the world. If you want to be a good football player, you need to lift weights and work on your agility in the off-season. It's not just what Quilling requires, it's what any coach in Northern Nevada expects.

Ron McNutt, Carson athletic director, said he hasn't talked to Quilling about the future, and I certainly have no reason not to believe him.

But where and how do these rumors get started then? Don't parents and/or school personnel realize how damaging that can be, both to the players and the coaches.

Too often these days a school administration listens to a whining parent. That needs to stop. Just once I'd love to hear a principal or athletic director publicly say "This is my coach."


Going into last night's game, only six points separated Galena High School's football team from being 5-0 and ranked No. 1 in Northern Nevada.

The Grizzlies (3-2) are a different team this year, one that truly thrives when its defense steps up like it did for two early shutouts and during a 19-14 loss to top-ranked McQueen, a game the Grizzlies would have won had they not thrown away good scoring opportunities in the first half.

It's a unit that has done a solid job of stopping the run thanks to senior linebackers Joe Milegich, Casey Ernst and Cole Dowty, junior linebacker Jimmy Sargent, senior defensive back Anthony Fritsche and down lineman Justin Gates. They play every down at a fever pitch much to the delight of head coach Steve Struzyk.

Struzyk didn't think his defense played that well against Spanish Springs in a 42-22 win, but maybe he'd been spoiled in the previous four weeks when the defense allowed a combined 33 points.

I thought the defense held up well. It wasn't a dominating effort by any means, but did a good job of keeping the Cougars between the 20s most of the game.

The only thing that disturbed me about the Grizzlies' defense that night was the number of personal fouls. The group, especially Gates, lost its poise in the second half with several stupid penalties. It didn't need to happen, and at one point Struzyk threatened Gates if he got one more penalty called against him.

The offense isn't dynamic, but it's certainly efficient. Ryan Krueger has carried the load at tailback, and Sargent and Ernst have provided effective back-up at the position. A real surprise has been sophomore quarterback Jacob Anderson, who has played with poise that belies his year in school. Anderson seems to have found a favorite target in Fritsche, who has made several nice catches during the season.

n Contact Darrell Moody at or 881-1281


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