To the editor,

I would like to address an ugly event that happened Friday night in Copperas Cove. Our girls high school soccer team was there playing a district game when a large scale fight broke out after the varsity game between the two teams. A couple of the players were injured and three girls from Cove were red-carded for starting the incident. Since then, six of Stephenvilleís girls have been given a one-game suspension and will have to miss their game against district leading Abilene Wylie, no doubt forfeiting our chance to become this yearís district leader going into the postseason. This punishment was handed down from SHS administration, not the UIL.

First I would like to congratulate the girls and Coach Casey Weil for a valiant game against horrible referees, unruly home stands and a very physical game. I do applaud your team spirit and your unconditional support for your fellow teammates when under attack. As a former athlete, it is always comforting, and necessary, to know that your teammates are always there for you! Also, when asked about the incident individually and given the chance to lieÖthey didnít. They accepted full responsibility. Thatís awesome!

Second, I would like to applaud our school administration for taking this strong proactive stance against violence. Yes, they started it. Yes, we were just protecting our own. Yes, they should be punished. But, we did take an active part, and for this violation of UIL rules, there has to be some type of punishment. This could not have come at a worse time, playing against our district rivals with the chance to become district leaders, but what a teaching moment! Our admin is making the statement that we are not taking the easy road, we broke the rules, we pay the price. One does not teach our kids to punish ourselves when it doesnít hurt, when we can afford to do it, when it wonít hurt our chances. No, you pay up when itís your time. That takes courage and fortitude. Mr. Stilwell and Coach Casey Weil, I do not envy your decisions, but I do support them.

Third, let me tell the parents and fans at the game how proud I am of you all. When students from the Cove were antagonizing our fans, blowing horns in our ears all game and afterwards attempting to entice our folks into physical conflict, we rose to the occasion and calmer heads prevailed. This was not an easy task. And to the soccer parents who realize punishment is sometimes unavoidable and our admin is doing this with heavy hearts, I applaud you. As a parent of one suspended, I feel admin is doing what you in your hearts feel is right and will protect our school and soccer program.

Last, after an ugly incident as the one mentioned it is sometimes hard to find positive notes, but I do see the positive! As a soccer parent and sports enthusiast, I am proud to be a part of SHS soccer! Go SISD and Go bees! You make me proud!

Dan Delgado

Honeybee soccer parent