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March 2, 2013

The Other Side of the Story
Sam Schlagetter

Editor:

Obviously someone at your organization does not believe in getting to the facts before allowing something to be printed. The article written by Mr. Starks entitled "A three point winner vs a big time loser" has switched some facts around that should be corrected online by your organization. Since this was not an "editorial" document where one can just say what they want I believe you have obligation to state facts and Mr. Starks is wrong on a number of points.

First, he wrote that Coach Billing got in Coach Stonebreaker's face about a call that was never made. The intentional foul was called and rightly so. The Anna player who was knocked face first onto the court is a tough hardnosed player who could only be taken down by a very hard foul. There was no doubt this foul was intentional and appropriately called so.

Second, he writes "Of course, Stonebreakers’ staff, headed by her brother, Joe Raterman and assistant coach Kim Custenborder, came to her aid, as the pushing and shoving started." Everyone there will admit that Coach Billing and Coaches Stonebreaker, Raterman and Custenborder were ALL heatedly discussing something after the game BUT it was the local law enforcement, Tipp City officials and school officials who came rushing in after a female Versailles assistant coach (whom I assume was Custenborder) deliberately chest bumped coach Billing. Not once, not twice but three times the female assistant coach pushed into Coach Billing knocking him back a few feet. At no point did Coach Billing react to this physically. He did not try to push her away, bump back into her or even raise his hands.

Third, Mr. Starks wrote "your coach is a total loser". Since he probably has no idea what the coaches were arguing about he has no facts to base this on. If Coach Billing was upset about the hard foul put upon his Senior point guard then I applaud him for trying to protect his players from a meaningless foul with 1.6 seconds left. I do not fault the Versailles player for playing hard and not wanting to give up but the Versailles coaches should have just admitted that it was a hard foul and was not meant to hurt anyone. What would we all be saying if that hard could have really hurt the Anna player and she could not finish the season. If that were to have happened would people look at this situation differently? It also goes without saying that Coach Billing has a record that any coach in any sport would love to have and for that Mr. Starks writes that he is a loser????

One of the things he was correct about was when he ends his article stating there was no excuse for that kind of behavior; he is absolutely correct. The Versailles female assistant coach showed extremely poor sportsmanship and should be disciplined by school officials.
 
I was in attendance at the game last Saturday as I have been at many of the Anna girls' varsity games over the last seven years. I also have a daughter who played for Coach Billing. Coach Billing and I are not considered close friends and I am only writing this to get the facts out. I do not know what the coaches were arguing about at the end of the game but to write an article implying that the mild mannered Versailles coaches were verbally attacked by the Anna coach is way off the mark. Coaches Stonebreaker, Raterman and Custenborder were equally engaged in the face to face verbal discussion before the Versailles female assistant coach started the chest bumping.
 
Sam Schlagetter
Sidney


 
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