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Riverton fans should 'show some class' and not boo Evanston coach

Mar 9, 2012 - Bryan Johnson, Evanston

Editor:

March Madness has begun with the "big school" teams vying for state championships. Evanston boys won the West 4-A conference and the West 4-A Regional tournament championship this year in Riverton. At the tournament, Evanston boys coach Bubba O'Neill won the 4-A West Coach of the Year award, and I'm sure if you ask him, it's an honor he shares with his entire coaching staff. Congratulations, Bubba, on a job well done!.

When the head coach was awarded his plaque in Riverton, he received it with applause from the Evanston contingency, but to the sound of "boos" from the overwhelming Riverton fans. I write this letter to those Riverton fans, the Rock Springs fans, the Star Valley fans, (I'm sure the list goes on) who cannot just come and support your team but have to criticize and put down the opposing team or their coaches. Every year someone has to say something bad, write a letter, or complain to someone about Bubba and the way he coaches. This letter is in his support. As a parent of two players in the program I do not always feel happy when one of my own is being talked to or when they come home from a tough practice, but the fact is, Bubba is a great coach.

Great companies are not made by CEOs who allow the staff to do whatever they want and not follow the strategy of the company. Great companies are made by leaders who get the most from their people, who teach their people to succeed so that the company can succeed. Evanston has a great CEO in charge.

Year after year he and his staff take kids from one of the smallest schools in class 4-A, kids that are undersized and usually having less talent, and continually produce 20-win seasons. These teams are great because they are taught that through hard work and teamwork they can succeed.

They are great because they are taught what they need to know to succeed and then they are expected to do those things they are taught. They are great because they have passion for the game and a desire to win, things inherent in the coach and his staff. This not only makes great basketball players but great people.

For those of you who come to see Bubba coach, you are going to witness something you've never seen before. Yes, he has discussions with the refs, yes, he gets after his players and assistants, and yes, he does it all with a great tenacity. But he does it for his team, standing up for his players. He doesn't boo the opposing fans, he doesn't tell the opposing fans to shut up and sit down. He simply does what a coach is supposed to do for his team. Whether it's good or bad is your opinion, but show some class and give credit where credit is due. Obviously his peers know of his coaching ability as this is the second year in a row for the 4-A West Coach of the year award.

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