Letter to the Editor
Perseverance and pride
In response to the article written by Nate Shaughnessy published on Oct. 29: If you have never attended one of the Clay Central-Everly football games, I will fill you in on what you would observe. First, you would see the passion. The 18 boys we had on the field were different in many ways, but they all had one thing in common: the love of the game. Second, you would see support. Parents cheering and taking pictures. Teachers supporting their students when they could be spending their Friday night going out with friends, spending time with family, or catching up on their favorite shows. Finally, you would see pride. No matter the outcome and no matter the odds, each and every fan, cheerleader or player walks away from that field feeling proud that they gave their best effort and didnít give up.
Now, you may be asking yourself what Clay Central-Everly (a small school with only 81 high school students) would have to be proud of after a losing season, but in reality, we have a lot to be proud of. We have felt that feeling of winning. In the fall of 2016, the Mavericks won three of their football games. Winning feels good; there is no denying that. The one feeling, however, that feels better than winning is seeing everyone around you cheering and applauding even when the outcome isnít in our favor. Itís a mixture of perseverance and dedication that in todayís world not very many people still have.
The Mavericks may not be winning, but theyíre doing one better. Weíve all heard the positive quote ďnever give up.Ē We hear this and repeat it, but not very many people actually live and believe it. The Mavericks, however, are a walking inspiration for every supporter. Theyíre learning that you donít always win in life. All you can do is try your hardest. When the principal and athletic director at CC-E, Curt Busch, was asked his opinion on the article written by Mr. Shaughnessy, he said, ďAs the athletic director at Clay Central-Everly, I am very proud of every football player who started and finished the season. The easy decision would have been to give up, but these boys chose to follow through on their commitment. These boys are all going to be better citizens because they have learned the lesson of resilience in life. Despite the trial, you get up each time you fall.Ē
Out of our eighteen players on the varsity team, there are boys from every grade. Nine of which were underclassmen. Mr. Shaughnessy was correct when he mentioned the risk of injury. However, there is the risk of injury by just getting out of bed in the morning. As for the psychological effect, an article published, such as the one Mr. Shaughnessy wrote, is more psychologically damaging than losing a football game. The underclassmen feel privileged. When freshman quarterback, Stevie Mowery, was asked if he feels privileged playing for the Clay Central-Everly varsity football team, he said, ďI'm proud to play football for the CC-E Mavericks, win or lose. The Mavs give me an opportunity as a freshman to learn and grow into a great athlete. Playing anywhere else I wouldn't have the opportunity I have here at CC-E until my junior or senior year.Ē
Itís easy for Mr. Shaughnessy and people like him to voice their opinions when maybe they have never felt what these boys have. Maybe they havenít played the game these boys love. Clay Central-Everly is a small school, and our football players are involved in many other activities. A typical day for those boys during football season would start at 7 in the morning and end at 6 in the evening, 9 if they were also involved in other activities such as the fall play and FFA. The hours add up. Mr. Shaughnessy fails to mention that CC-E thrives in many of our other activities. We have a very strong FFA chapter that we are very proud of. EmmaKay McClain, a current CC-E sophomore, placed first in the science fair division at the national FFA convention that took place in Indianapolis. Savanna Handy, a current CC-E junior, was selected to perform for the All-State Individual Speech Competition last spring. The marching band, directed by Lori Key, placed second at Algona Band Days this fall. We are proud of all of our activities, especially our football team.
At the end of the day, the things youíll see on the Clay Central-Everly football field are bravery, perseverance, and pride. I, along with the rest of the true Mavericks, are beyond proud of our football team.
As for Mr. Shaughnessy, have you won a Pulitzer Prize? Iím sure you havenít but are you going to just quit writing and reporting because you havenít won? You will most likely continue writing, not because youíre trying to win something, but because you enjoy it with all of your heart.
Hailey Joenks, Clay Central-Everly student