This letter is for Mike Zummo, the uncaring, uncompassionate and hateful sportswriter who attacked the Johnstown Sir Bills boys varsity soccer program in a column Monday in The Leader-Herald.
On Monday, I happened to see these boys play one of the hardest and best games of their careers and overcome a long losing streak. That takes commitment and strength. These young men practice six days a week for two to three hours per session in rain, wind, cold and heat, probably the same as some of their sectional- and state-winning opponents. Unfortunately, their scoreboard results have not reflected their commitment and skills. It also does not reflect the commitment, drive and character of their coaching staff. These men spend all this time and more building the strong and outstanding men of our future. The coaches continue to bring out the best in our sons despite the losses on their record.
I was at the Broadalbin-Perth vs. JHS "Pink Out" game, cheering for our boys who were playing hard. Unfortunately, it was not their best night. We didn't know about the exchange between Coach Hill and Coach Henry. We only knew we were there for a good cause and good will.
The Leader-Herald couldn't leave it at that. They had to report our coach's comments and put a negative spin on the entire event.
Mike Zummo, how can you attack the boys like you did? You wished them not to continue to sectionals and that you "can't imagine anyone being seeded lower than ..." Do you have children, Mike? Do they play sports? Can you imagine someone saying such hateful things to your family or to you? Try to imagine it, Mike, and the rest of the staff because you allowed it in your paper. These are young men, some still freshmen in high school who you are attacking. This is what they came home to after one of their happiest soccer moments.
I am proud to say I am the mother of No. 8 and last year's No. 16, two boys of many who played for Coach Hill and the other outstanding coaches of the Johnstown soccer program, many who have continued to play in college.
Best of luck at sectionals, boys. We will be there cheering you on as we always have.
And Mike: Don't bother coming. Our boys do not need your negativity.