Players deserve reason for break

To the editor

   I am writing in response to a recent letter sent out by Jr. Raider youth football league President Pete Passe.
   In his letter, which is currently being circulated throughout the township, Mr. Passe proclaimed that the Jr. Raider Youth association is disassociating itself with high school varsity coach Rick Mantz. According to Mr. Passe, Coach Mantz and his philosophy are "no longer in harmony" with the philosophy of the Jr. Raiders.
   What Mr. Passe fails to mention, however, is exactly what has caused this sudden disharmony. Such a brief and uninformative letter leaves much information to be desired, and as a result leaves some very bothersome implications.
   If I were a Jr. Raider parent, I would certainly hope that the Jr. Raider program was founded on the principles of promoting athletic competition in a safe and educational environment, while also promoting strong ideals in academic scholarship.
   I think that this is a safe and pretty realistic assumption to make as the parent of a young student-athlete. With this in mind, I would become extremely concerned if I were notified that our town’s high school varsity team was no longer in "harmony" with these ideals.
   As a 4-year player under Coach Mantz (as well as a collegiate athlete), I can assure all parents that these ideals are in fact the primary focus of Coach Mantz and his staff. This leaves a very daunting question: if this is true, then where is the disharmony that Mr. Passe and his associates speak of?
   With Mr. Passe speaking on behalf of an organization of hundreds of young players and their families, it would appear as though the disparity between "philosophies" is a rather significant one. Based on feedback from a variety of different parties in the matter, I find this to be untrue.
   Perhaps the disharmony that Mr. Passe speaks of is not between Coach Mantz and the Junior Raider Association as the letter indicates. Instead, maybe that disharmony is a personal vendetta that Mr. Passe has against Coach Mantz.
   If this is in fact the case, I find it to be a travesty that a youth league president would use his organization as a personal political vehicle to make his points. Unless the Jr. Raider Association is a dictatorship, I feel that Mr. Passe should not speak on behalf of the organization in a matter where no clear reasons are provided to the families that are being forced to disassociate themselves from Coach Mantz.
   Maybe the best solution would be for Mr. Passe and his executive board to disassociate themselves from something they obviously feel so strongly opposed to. The rest of the organization should be able to decide for themselves.
   With this solution, the Jr. Raider players are protected from Mr. Passe’s political vendettas and can continue to properly uphold the name "Junior Raiders."
   As the name implies, the Junior Raider Youth Association is at the heart of creating promising student-athletes that varsity Raiders will one day be able to reap the benefits of.
   Best of luck to all Raiders – past, present, and future.

Bruce Wayne Jr.
Willow Road