Letter: Clarification needed on recent soccer issues

To the Editors:

I have two children who graduated from Wilton High School. They both competed in various WHS sports for three seasons all four years, and our daughter was an All-American runner at Middlebury College. I have no skin in the game, and over the eight years our kids participated in WHS sports, I had very little interaction with the athletic department. However, I have been following the recent complaints about the WHS athletic director and soccer coach.

While I do not doubt that mistakes were made by the coach and athletic department/director, and it seems clear there is a need to improve communication among the athletic director, coaches, players and students across all sports, I do believe the athletic director and coaches have a very difficult job. Sports seems to take on such an outsized role in this town, and I have witnessed many parents who push their kids and coaches because they are counting on college recruitment offers and athletic scholarships for their kids. Some of these kids go on to play college sports, but some drop out because of burnout, injury or difficulty juggling the demands of college academics and college sports. And how many of these kids continue to participate in their sport after graduation from college? My guess is, not many.

I wonder why in all the complaints about the current WHS soccer coach, no one has provided the specific information about exactly why the girls on the team were "fearful for their safety" and exactly what the soccer coach did that demonstrated her disregard for the "safety, mental and emotional health of the girls on the soccer team." It would be helpful to know exactly what the issues have been. I also wonder whether our kids would be better served if the focus, rather than on competition and winning at all costs, was on life-long fitness, staying in shape, emotional/physical health, and on learning how to deal with change and adversity.
Carey Field
34 Topfield Road, April 1