2008-11-06 / Letters

No More Excuses! Football's Time Is Now

Dear Editor,

The Fulton County Cowboys finished their first successful season. Beginning last February 2008, a group of parents got together and in six short months raised money, joined a league, fielded a 26-player tackle team and two flag teams and was competitive in a well-established league in Huntingdon, Pa., that was gracious enough to allow us to join them. Around town, it's not too hard to see Cowboy football car magnets, hats, T-shirts and sweat hoods. There is a lot to be proud of!

Meanwhile, over at James Buchanan High School, a Southern Fulton student is their varsity starting quarterback. In Hancock, Md., many Southern Fulton youths are standouts in the Washington County, Md.-based youth football league. The youth ranks of Mercersburg's Keystone Youth Football League are heavily fortified with, not just players, but standouts from Forbes Road, Central Fulton and Southern Fulton.

I applaud every player, parent and coach who are sacrificing so much to bring a great game into the lives of kids who would otherwise never have the opportunity. I thank every business, man, woman and child who knows how important this is and are doing there best to make football happen in our community despite our school districts inability to make football happen.

Football is happening; look around! A mule's kick away from Penn State, and in a state with a football tradition as rich as Pennsylvania's, Fulton County still does not have high school football. We have the talent, we have the numbers and we have the energy to start a collective program right now.

What we need is our school districts and the athletic department directors to stop telling us all the reasons we can't, and concentrate on all the reasons we must. Central Fulton has the field and the newly community donated lights and is centrally located. The Sideling Hill League exists and is a forum where this can and should be organized.

I know that if the Committee to Create Fulton County Football is given the chance, it can raise all the money the Sideling Hill League will need, and it won't cost any of the school districts a plug nickel. I also know that football is a money generator, a community builder and a source of tremendous pride almost everywhere.

Parents, players and football people here in Fulton County, the time is now. We need school board members, school administrators and athletic directors who say "we can," rather than "we can't." There are no more excuses. The officials who continue to say "we can't" must be replaced. The heck with begging for nonbinding, neighboring districts' charity co-ops; rumor is Southern Fulton's is getting theirs cut after this season. Central Fulton's is on thin ice, and Forbes Road can't even produce one! It's time we demand our very own Fulton County High School football team. I urge us all to demonstrate our passion for our own football by contacting your school board members, school administrators and athletic directors and keep the pressure turned up high.

Working together it's possible to put a junior high team on the field as fast as 2009. We could have a varsity team as soon as 2011.

If you want to get involved, drop us a note at Cowboy's Football, P.O. Box 205, McConnellsburg, PA 17233, or e-mail me at melssalon@innernet. net. The time is now; there are simply no excuses left, none whatsoever. Damon Schoen President, Fulton County Cowboys

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