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Armchair Quarterback?

Editor: I am always amused by the rantings of Eugene Gallagher. His letter in the Thursday, Dec. 20, issue of this paper, called "Viking Pride Should Prevail" really hits a new low. He starts off by self promoting, then regresses to demeaning the coaching staff of the Riverside Viking football team.

I think he is a true fan with severe tunnel vision. Yes, the goal is to be victorious in every game, but is this the only goal? The coaching staff has taken young, often inexperienced, boys, teaching them to be good sportsmen and creating young men with character and purpose in their lives.

Coach Prall graduated as an all-star from East Stroudsburg University, my alma mater, with just such teachings and training. I commend him and his staff on their success. Their record of 6-5 is nothing to complain about. They played in Division II against double A teams. Their three main loses came to Dunmore, Division II/District 2 champion and Old Forge the Division III champion and runner up in District 2.

His comments "that an overwhelming majority" feels as he does lacks common sense. Though we all may be armchair quarterbacks, try putting yourself in the staff's and players shoes, where decisions have to be made in split seconds. The football systems of today are more complicated than the type of three yards and a cloud of dust in Mr. Gallagher's playing days. If I were a Viking player or parent of a player, knowing that the boys put forth 110 percent of true Viking effort in practice and game time, I would be truly offended by this "fan."

Mr. Gallagher, if you dislike the coaching staff situation so much, why not volunteer your time to correct it as you have stated you coached at one time. See how the games of today are really played. I'm sure you would have no clue how it works as your time has past and the future is only going to get brighter, in spite of you and your constant "bone picking" anything that says Riverside.

The Vikings have acquitted themselves as a quality team and should be mighty proud of their accomplishments. Sportsmanship, comradery, companionship, friendships, commitment to excellence are lessons well-taught and learned. This does not happen by being led by "inadequate impersonators."

These young men show a quality of the true Viking past with an eye to the future that would make even Eric the Red - a true ancient Viking - proud. Sadly, in Mr. Gallagher's case, his actions would only make the comic strip character "Hagar The Horrible" wince.

Oh, by the way, I am a life long resident of Old Forge and a Blue Devil fan, but I support all of our young men in their goals of excellence and character building.

Go Vikes and Devils. Best of luck and success in all you do on and off the field.

Terry Butler

Viking Pride Does Prevail

Editor: As a lifelong resident of Moosic and Riverside Alumni, I am writing this letter in support of our Riverside football coaches, teachers and mentors, who live outside the school district. Also in support of the school board members, who are elected by the people of Moosic and Taylor and make decisions which they view as being in our best interests. While growing up in Moosic and Taylor surely instills an amount of Viking Pride, there is a lot to be learned from those with outside experiences and knowledge, especially when those in these positions are eagerly willing to mentor and educate.

A true Viking's job is to support and help the district to succeed in every facet of life, from school and sports, to developing responsible young men and women, who will contribute not only to Moosic and Taylor, but also to the State and Nation as a whole. As we all learned from the Penn State football team this year, it does not require an insider to instill pride in an institution, and that the most qualified does not necessarily always come from within the same institution.

Very Respectfully,

Brent Lane