An open letter to the Administrators and Athletic Department at RCPS:
For years community members and parents have worked hard to build successful programs in our school system. We hired knowledgeable coaches and volunteers, we put on and sponsored clinics and camps during the summer. We raised thousands of dollars for improvements to fields and facilities. To walk into the high school gym and see the lack of support shown, not only by the staff but also the student body, to the defending state champion volleyball team was appalling.
To talk to a basketball player and for him to tell me that one-half of the basketball team is not coming out to play is extremely disheartening. To talk to a wrestler, who was in tears, because someone was hired that is nowhere near qualified to coach a varsity team over many highly qualified applicants, breaks my heart.
Why aren’t these students coming out to play a sport that they have played for years? Who is to blame for that? Why aren’t the administrators doing their job? It is the athletic director’s job, to vet and put forth highly qualified individuals, to work with these children. It is his job to instill school pride and spirit. Is it the lack of knowledge by the administrators in who they are hiring to coach?
In my opinion, the lack of community attendance to the events, is the lack of communication by the athletic department. It is the lack of school spirit shown in the building by the staff. Hiring people just because they are already on staff is not the answer. You have to know the sport, you have to engage the children, you have to be in the building or want to come to the building and recruit kids to play for you. You just can’t be there because you want to coach your kids or your grandchildren. That is not what builds a program, it tears it down and we have seen it happen before.
Raising and teaching our children is a countywide responsibility. The old saying it takes a village, well to me it takes a whole county. RCPS you need to wake up before it is too late!! We do not have enough kids to have the mass exodus we had before because of poor choices.
The writer is a former member of the Rappahannock County School Board, representing the Jackson District.