River Valley principal: Better communication needed

The purpose of this letter is to respond to the concerns regarding the behavior of our coaches and players in the pregame at Galion this past Friday night. The athletic directors from both schools communicated during the week prior to the game in regards to the homecoming activities. The agreement was that if our football team moved down to warm up, we would be out of the way. Our coaches and team did what they were asked to do. Our athletic director contacted Galion’s athletic director Monday morning to ask why the plans were changed and communicated that if we had been informed, we would have cooperated. The Galion athletic director responded that he did not have the itinerary for the night’s activities. This is not the first homecoming game that our football team has participated in. Every time previously, communication has prevented the chaos that occurred Friday night.

The second concern was that our players and coaches were disrespectful to the American flag and turned their back to the flag. When the coaches saw the colors taking the flag to the flag pole, they told the players to leave the field. When the National Anthem began playing, the players had their helmets off and faced the flag. They would have been looked poorly upon had they stayed on the field. They were put in a no-win situation. I can assure you that our students and staff have a great respect for the American flag and veterans that fought for our freedoms. You may check with the numerous veterans that are honored every year at our Veterans Day activities.

This was a very unfortunate situation that could have been avoided with better communication.

David J. Coleman

River Valley High School Principal