Banner flown over HS baseball game calls for coaches’ firing

May 23, 2018 / Coaching
Critics of the Briarcliff High School (N.Y.) baseball team’s coaching staff found an inventive way to voice their displeasure this week by paying for a large banner to fly over the team’s playoff game.

The banner, which read “Fire Coaches Schrader & Kowalczyk,” referred to head coach John Schrader and assistant Walter Kowalczyk. According to The Journal News, a woman paid $1,250 to have the banner flown over Monday’s game for 30 minutes. The woman was not identified.

Any discontent over the Briarcliff baseball team can’t be for lack of success. The Bears qualified for the Class B sectional playoffs as the No. 1 seed for the second consecutive year, and the team finished the regular season with a 17-3 record. The Bears won Monday’s game, 13-0.

From The Journal News:

“Yesterday’s flyover served to highlight what can happen when adults lose perspective on high school sports,” Briarcliff schools superintendent Jim Kaishian told The Journal News in an email on Tuesday morning. “In an attempt to promote self-interest, some adults become willing conspirators in the theft of joy from youth athletic programs.

“In time, I am sure it will be known who was responsible. Until then, our focus remains on raising confident, capable and joyful young men and women — our athletic program is merely an extension of this larger educational mission.

“Rather than saddened by yesterday’s events, I was encouraged by yesterday’s result,” Kaishian said. “The varsity baseball program responded to a challenge that surely would have broken a lesser organization. In their 13-0 victory, our student-athletes displayed superior talent and preparation. As importantly, the entire team — coaches and players — demonstrated great character and determination. How’s that for a life lesson?”

Schrader has been with the baseball program for 29 years, the last four as the head coach. Here’s a photo from Monday’s game taken by Eugene Rapay:

Click here to read more from The Journal News.

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