This is written in response to Tim Adams' recent commentary, "When winners are losers: Beating down a weak opponent isn't fair play" (Dec. 29, 2004).
It's not often that we choose to respond to a person who buys his ink by the barrel and who must be an unobjective, bush-league, cub reporter and not an experienced sports writer.
Mr. Adams, you were obviously not at the games with Long Creek or Ukiah or you would have reported the facts about the Crane Mustang's fundamental values of fairness and respect for their opponents.
The Lady Mustangs lost only two girls from their state championship team from last year. This year's team has lots of depth and may even be better than the championship team, but that still remains to be proven.
It is not their fault that they have worked hard and paid the price to be champions. Yes, Mr. Adams, they are that good.
Does that mean they should play down to the level of abilities, skills and competition of their opponents? Perhaps some of the league teams need to decide whether they have varsity or junior varsity teams and declare themselves to the league and to the OSAA to be at the level where their skills and abilities best fit for their athlete's needs.
A review of the stat book shows that the coach, Stub Travis, who by the way was voted the coach of the year in Oregon by his peers last year, has played "the bench" in every game this season.
In the Long Creek game, the Crane coach played the starters for four minutes. Frankly, they needed more playing time than that, but the coach pulled them out in the spirit of fair play and respect for our opponent.
Quite the opposite of your comments, in our opinion it would not be showing fair play, respect, or dignity to our opponents to tell our girls not to score.
On many occasions we have personally witnessed the Crane coach motioning to his players not to full-court press and not to trap and to drop back past half court to set up their defense.
The Crane girls have played together as a team since grade school. They know how to play the game well. And, oh by-the-way, the Crane Mustangs have won the sportsmanship trophy at the state tournament two out of the past five years.
Quite frankly, Mr. Adams, we believe that your article was "utterly and totally ridiculous."
The simple fact of the matter is the highest level of competition the Lady Mustangs have faced this season has been in their own practice gym.
We challenge you, Mr. Adams, to either be positive or to be still! You might at least attend one of our ball games to see how our girls play and how our coaches coach, and then write an article about what you observed, instead of going on hearsay.
Until that takes place, don't lecture us on the fundamental values of fair play, fairness, and respect for our opponents.
Bob Cargill Jr.
Crane Union High School