This is not to scold or call out any individual or group because passion for a program can be good, but it can divide our community and allow us to lose sight of who we really are.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind my fellow Johnstonians that while our football program is a large part of our history, it is not the only thing that makes us proud to be Sir Bills and Lady Bills. Through my long playing and rooting experiences for JHS, although we were always very proud of the great football teams of the '70s, '80s and the state championship team of 1991, remember that we are so much more.
I have always found equally as much "purple pride" watching many of the fine basketball teams we have had through the years watching players like Chuck Guzlek or Mark Ralbovsky or Kelly Mraz or my own daughter, Amanda Bishop, winning league and sectional titles. "Purple proud" when the Underwoods or the Swatts were dominating track and cross country. "Purple proud" when ski teams with the Subiks or the Krempas were winning ski races and titles. "Purple proud" when our volleyball team under Coach McGuire won sectional and regional titles. "Purple proud" when JHS won multiple state championships in field hockey and continued to be a dominate program under Coach Ringer. "Purple proud" when our marching band and color guard won state championships and continue to be a positive example of excellence under the tutelage of Andrew Lacoppola and Christina Vanvulkenburg. "Purple proud" when the boys golf team won the Foothills Tournament and my nephew, D.J. Ioele, was part of it. "Purple proud" when Coach Jennings and the soccer players fought for respect in the very tough Foothills Council, reaching the sectional finals. "Purple proud" of Coach Mraz's baseball team or Coach Savoy's softball team when playing and beating our rivals.
Be supportive of all of our programs and teams win or lose. Remember, at JHS we offer many activities in sports and extracurricular (more than any other district in the area). So at this time, let us not spend useless effort blaming other programs or our coaches again, instead come together as Sir Bills and Lady Bills to regroup for the future of the program.
JOHN DAVID PRAUGHT