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Letter: Writer wrong in coverage of Blessed Trinity game

Dear The Covington News Editor(s),

As the father of two Blessed Trinity Catholic High School players, I am compelled to respond to the tendentious and inaccurate column by Mr. Tyler Williams (“Five Things Learned from Eastside-Blessed Trinity,” Nov. 24, 2018).

First, let me congratulate the Eastside Eagles on a fantastic season and a hard-fought loss to BT.  Even when the game was no longer close, your boys continued to battle and never gave up. 

As to why the Eagles lost to the Titans—Mr. Williams trots out the usual suspects of whining and slander.  Starting with minor matters first: Mr. Williams states that “there were maybe two players on the Titans entire squad that were under six feet tall.”  Rosters for all US high school football teams are available at Maxpreps, and the BT roster clearly shows many players smaller than—six of whom are, in fact, starters.  Furthermore, Mr. Williams’ bellyaching is refuted by none other than your own publication’s sports editor, who stated in his post-game column that “pound for pound and player for player, there didn’t seem to be anything overwhelming about Blessed Trinity….”

Mr. Williams also adduces the weather as a factor: “Mother Nature is not the Eagles friend.” Were the cold rain and gusty winds afflicting only the Eastside players?  I was at that game, and it certainly seemed the rain was falling on both the just and the unjust.

Finally, the crux of Mr. Williams’ column is the tired canard—nay, outright mendacity—that “private schools…provide scholarships to and/or recruit top athletes.”  As with his other assertions, he provides no source to corroborate this outrageous claim.  BLESSED TRINITY DOES NOT PROVIDE ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS, nor does it “recruit.” Here’s what we actually do: we have an excellent middle school feeder program, with volunteer coaches (mostly dads), which runs the same schemes as our high school.  Boys from the Roswell area will come play, because of the excellent coaching, and some (not all) of them wind up applying to BT.  Many do not get accepted, however—the flip side of Mr. Williams’ “public schools that have to deal with whatever players fall into their school zone.”  By the way: Eastside’s student population is almost 40 percent larger than BT’s, which should give you more athletes to choose from.

In fact, all the schools that have been sanctioned in recent years for recruiting have been public ones.  Metro Atlanta’s school system has dealt with this problem; and most famouly Marietta had to vacate all its 2017 wins (including one against BT) for such.  

As for Mr. Williams’ plea to “make things competitive and fair:” did he complain when Eastside beat Woodward?  Has he never heard of Cartersville? This millenium every single 4A state championship, save one (BT’s last year), has been won by PUBLIC schools.  BT wins because of great coaching, discipline and hard work—not skirting the rules.  Eastside’s fine 2018 season deserves better defense than Mr. Williams’ unwarranted attacks on the team which beat you. 

Timothy R. Furnish