Viewpoint: Writer defends girls basketball coach
I am writing this letter in defense of head girls basketball coach Ryan Clark. As a Rhinelander Hodag basketball alum, I have firsthand experience with having him as a coach. Even though I am five hours away, I still get word about what people are saying about Coach Clark. I would like to clear things up for the people in the community. I hope this can make it known that what you are hearing is not Coach Clark but rumors. Coach Clark is an amazing coach, including his coaching staff. Yes, he is a tough coach, but isn’t that what he is supposed to do? To give those bigger experiences and make them better players, let alone better people in the long run. Without him, I would not be where I am today or nearly as mentally strong. I know for a fact that he will do that for anyone on the team. He truly cares about every player. Clark is the best thing to happen to Rhinelander girls’ basketball, and I know during the past season, all of the community thought so also, so what are we doing? Why is he being punished for what he did right? The past four years for the team, we have had three different coaches. We were never very good until this past season. The coach that made us a better team is being treated horribly. Why do we, as a community become so harsh to a certain individual who is trying to help student athletes? Please ask yourself that, and think about your actions before you do so. Coach has helped bring in little Hodags, look what he did for the program. For the players, why tell lies about someone who will put his life on hold to make you better at the game you love? I know many of you will wonder why I am writing this. The reason is, Coach Clark did so much for me, and he got me into UW-Platteville to play college basketball. He allowed me to do something that I loved. I want to do the same for him, to give him the chance to continue doing what he loves. Which is coaching basketball. I hope you, as Hodags, whether you are a player, a parent or a fan, will allow him to do the same. We need him as a coach.
Sydnei Smith, RHS Alum