Monday, October 24, 2011

Open Letter to the Respective Athletic Directors at Taconic Hills and Hudson High Schools...

To whom it may concern:

I am writing on behalf of both the Hudson High and Taconic Hills soccer teams. As you both know, this time of year is Sectionals. When I look back on my High School years, these are some of the times that I remember the best. I can remember the crispness of the air, the bus ride to the game, the opportunity to play the bigger schools up north, the sense finality to the season. IT IS AN EXPERIENCE EVERY HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PLAYER SHOULD EXPERIENCE.

Below is my case for why both Taconic Hills and Hudson High School Soccer teams should go to sectionals, even though both teams records are not stellar (Hudson: 2-11; TH: 1-11-1):

* Both teams have played the rest of the conference tough. Hudson lost to state-ranked Maple Hill 1-0 and had them scoreless for 45 minutes. TH has lost 3 one-goal games. Hudson has lost 5.

* Both teams have players that could play at the college level (Hudson: R. Dorce, Z. Sohotra, Z. Bartolotta; TH: A. Mierzejewski, I. Rasweiler). Given the relative southern location of both school, there isn't as much exposure to college recruiting. That typically happens at sections. I know that I talked to college coaches after sectional losses in '86 (2-0 to Gloversville) and '87 (2-0 to Queensbury) even though those coaches were looking at other players. Those schools were 40% bigger than ours, but we got to compete. Give these guys the opportunity to be seen and compete.

* Both teams are tough outs. They have a puncher's chance for the upset.

* Hudson has played 14 games this year. TH has played 15. That is an embarrassingly light schedule for a high school team to play. My senior year we only played 15 games, after playing 19 the year before. Give these young men at least one more opportunity to show what they can do. I know that I wish we had more games my senior year.

* Don't give me any BS about school policy and stuff like that. I am not interested.

* What makes sports great is that they give you the opportunity to see who you really are. Give these hard-working young men the chance to see how they compare against the better players and teams from outside the Patroon conference. Let's show them how good and deep the Patroon conference, from top to bottom, really is.

* There is something about sectionals that brings out the energy of the Seniors that are playing, especially if they haven't played in sectionals before. In my Junior Year, I remember the effort that Mike Layman, Gregg Shutts, Roger Ringer, James Hatch, Lee VanDeCarr, and Mike Bruno gave on that day. That was 19 years of varsity experience on that day, and I remember those 6 gentlemen left it out on the field that day. We didn't win, but I am sure they did not want to see us again.

Many of the seniors on these team played on teams that were very bad a couple of years ago, and suffered some humiliating losses. Their teams now are competitive. Reward them for their efforts, and more importantly, their persistence and school service when it would have been much easier for them to quit.

Yours truly,
Faizal S. Enu, RKC (Hudson High Varsity Soccer Player '84-'87)

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