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February 28, 2015

Proud Patriot Fan
Amy Farmer

In response to Dr. Leon Knore’s article recently published in the Daily Advocate, I would like to thank you, sir, for providing an opportunity for us to show what a fine community we live in and just how proud we are of the young men and women we call Tri-Village Patriots.  Your words have struck a chord that all of “Patriot Nation” has heard. 

The young men who sport the red, white and blue in New Madison, Ohio are some of the finest I have ever known.  Although I know that all teenagers, including these young men, have flaws, theirs are certainly not on public display on or off the court.   These gentlemen are admired by underclassmen, revered by elementary and preschool children and consistently courteous, respectful and most importantly, selfless in a way that is sadly lacking within our society today.  Our student body lines up to form a tunnel through which the starters run at every home game, and to the see the faces of the young fans as they get to touch the hands of their heroes is a sight that brings tears to my eyes.  Watching these young men sacrifice individual glory for the good of the team, or focusing all their collective efforts on helping a teammate reach a goal (breaking the record for assists or individual points, for example), is a study in sportsmanship and contribution to the common good that I have rarely witnessed in sports or in life. 

It’s difficult to describe how it feels to be a fan of this particular Patriot team.  It’s a pride that reaches back to my own days as a Patriot athlete and brings it forward through the years.  As a community, we feel every shot, every foul, every victory, every shortfall and every single drop of sweat and blood that our boys put in for us.  We focus our collective pride and our hopes on a team that can make our dreams of a state title come true. 

The Patriots beat the Ansonia Tigers by a 90-point margin, and they did so because that’s what we expect of them.  We expect them to give 100% and leave everything they have on the court every single game.  The fact that they meet those expectations doesn’t make them bullies; it makes them capable, successful, disciplined young men who know that doing their best and giving their all is the only way to play, both in basketball and in life. 

We would not have expected our young athletes, especially those who came in late in the game to get some varsity time, to do anything but score as many points as possible, and would have been deeply disappointed had they intentionally backed down in intensity just to keep the margin within whatever your idea of a respectable range might be.  There was no intended disrespect or demoralization of their opponent in this victory, and I’m sure the attitude of the Tigers is to work hard and look forward to next year’s contest rather than wishing the Patriots had taken it easy on them.  After all, it’s not whether you win or lose that counts, but how you play the game, correct?  Purposely competing with less intensity and at a level beneath the norm is not something I would be proud of as a fan or a player on any team. 

In reference to the statement about how to judge a high school sports program, I am a positive contributing member of society who graduated from Tri-Village, and I certainly believe the athletic program at Tri-Village is a success.  Throughout my athletic career at Tri-Village, I was taught to work hard, to do my best, to never give up, to show humility, to lose gracefully and to walk with my head held high, win or lose.  Those are all lessons that prepared me for the real world.  In the real world, the opposing team doesn’t stop scoring so we can catch up.   

Finally, in reference to Dr. Knore’s comment about the “unbelievable lack of class by the winning coach,” may I remind you, sir, that you are not a member of our community and your opinion of our coach matters very little to anyone?  What does matter, and what truly shows a lack of class, is for a retired school administrator who lives in Darke County to publicly attempt to defame the character of local high school athletes.  Shame on you and shame on the Daily Advocate for confusing your libelous, sensationalistic writing with an actual opinion piece.  In the future, you may wish to focus your rants on people who truly deserve criticism, because these Patriot boys are out of your league.    

Amy L Farmer
Proud Patriot Fan
New Madison

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