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Letters To The Sports Editor

June 02, 2002

Appalled by calling former team members ‘cancers'

I was enjoying your sports article on the Southwest High girls softball team and their success in San Diego (May 23 edition) until I read the statement by first baseman Jessica Conway: Quote: "We had players (last year) that were hurting this team. But now, we've gotten rid of those ‘cancers' and we're playing a lot better."

How crude can one get calling former team members cancers? I'm appalled!

EMILY SCHRECK

El Centro

Get Fit Challenge kudos

On behalf of the Brawley Union High School physical education department, I would like to thank the more than generous sponsors of our recent Get Fit Challenge. It is sponsors such as these who help produce successful and exciting programs.

We had over 300 participants and considered our Get Fit Challenge a tremendous success! Our aim was to increase awareness of and improve the personal fitness of our students, while having fun.

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I believe we met our goal and more! Our merchants outdid themselves! Together over $600 worth of prizes were donated. We appreciate and wish to acknowledge the following sponsors: Brawley Family Billiards, Tucker Jewelers, the Music Bar, Driscoll's Sports, Rorie's Hair Studio, Domino's Pizza of Brawley, Brown Bag Cookies, U.S. Fitness, Green Patch Nursery, Pepsi-Cola Co., Debbie's Western Wear, Video 2000, Dr. Amadis Lugo, DDS, Foster's Old Fashioned Freeze, Johnny's Burritos.

MARY LeBARON

Brawley

Love and respect is all she has for Coach Gonzalez

I remember the day I heard Coach Gonzalez had resigned as the head football coach at Calexico High. At first I was shocked and angered! I thought how could the man who once told me there were no quitters allowed on his team, QUIT!

"How on earth could this be?" I thought. Then when I heard that it was all for the purpose of his two little children my anger deteriorated a little. Then I thought if I were in the position of his children and he were my father. … I 'd want to spend a lot of time with him. I cried that day when I got the news he was no longer going to be on the sidelines shouting at Odin or Chris. It's going to be so sad to go to a game and not see him there as a coach.

I was in his P.E. class in summer school. Boy he worked us hard! But for once in my life I loved it! All we did were the basic football drills. I had so much fun, and I never quit. Coach G treated me with respect and always had the group of guys in my P.E. class see me when they would try or even think about quitting.

Of the other five or six girls in that class, of all the guys in that class, I was the only one who called him Coach, and he had nothing against it. He never let me quit. He didn't let any of us quit. We'd complain about stuff and he would say, "There are no cry babies allowed in this class! Right, Anna?" I'd simply say "Right, Coach!"

When someone would try to walk away from the drills, he would say, "Looks like we have another quitter, Anna." That was my cue to yell at that person and push him or her to get back into the workout. The class wasn't easy. We'd stretch, do running drills all along the length of the basketball court, sack drills, cones, agility drills, 500 crunches and then we hit the weight room.

I am not a running person. I hate it! But Coach G made it fun. He never let me quit. I always wanted to go outside to do stadium drills, and one day he took us out there and we did them because I wanted to. Even though I fell he said the last one I sat out was especially for me!

While the class was grueling, I had fun. I have so much love and respect for Coach G. I remember I was always intimidated my him. Ever since I met him the seventh grade, I wanted to play football so bad my senior year and I was so scared to ask him if I could try out for the team.

When I finally did have the courage to ask him, he smiled at me and said "Sure, but don't expect any special treatment just because you are a girl!" Those words were exactly what I wanted to hear. Due to my health I couldn't take the risk of playing football. I promised to go to every football game, and I did. I was always there with a camera taking pictures of my boys. I was always there alongside Coach G.

Sometimes I'd forget what I was doing and I'd give the guys a harder time than Coach G. He'd just look at me and say, "Boy, you're harder on them than me." After each game I would give him a hug and tell him I was proud of him and what he did with the boys.

This man worked so hard, dedicated all his time to football. He took the boys to the top. He made them strong and pushed them all those yards just so the boys would pass the end zone. All his hard work and dedication paid off. The boys won him the Central game and beat Southwest, which was more than what he had asked for.

To me it seems he won't be leaving, because he isn't. He may not be there yelling at the boys in person, but his spirit will always be there on the sidelines, yelling at them. He left Calexico football with the best there is: knowledge and belief. Not matter what happens to Coach G he will always be there. Even if he is at the game as a mere spectator, he will always be our coach. He'll always be loved and respected … especially by me.

ANNA CASTENEDA

Calexico

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