Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Letter to the editor-Standing behind new coach at Grover
Grover HS team manager Jennifer Freeman wrote a letter to the Buffalo News to address concerns raised after the boy's soccer team was forced to start their season late due to a mix up over physicals...
Grover stands behind excellent soccer coach
On behalf of the athletes, administrators, faculty and staff at the International Preparatory School at Grover, School 198, we would like to clarify an article in the Sept. 29 News. This article reflected badly on our school due to an interview conducted with a former faculty member of our physical education department.
The current boys’ varsity soccer coach, Ahmed Omerhodzic, was portrayed as being incompetent. The truth is that he is an exceptional coach who was forced to start late in the season. Late teacher placements and an abnormal number of layoffs/retirements in our district this past year caused this late start. Judging from the interview in The News, it seems our former boys’ varsity soccer coach holds ill feelings about his departure from IPREP at Grover and found some consolation in airing his personal opinions. Unfortunately, he has put his own feelings above the happiness and well-being of the very students he coached.
Kevin Eberle, principal of IPREP at Grover, should be commended for his commitment to the students and staff of his school, which was portrayed in a negative way. He believes that all students— despite hardships, less-than-ideal backgrounds and setbacks—can succeed with the intervention of positive influences within the school community. We, the faculty, staff and students at IPREP at Grover, applaud Eberle’s devotion and commitment to academics, athletics and overall success for students.
Our boys’ soccer team refuses to be set back because of the slanted opinion of others. The boys are confident that their “Cinderella” story will continue, despite naysayers, under a new “architect” and the constant support of a caring school community within IPREP at Grover.
IPREP Faculty and Staff Boys Varsity Soccer Team
I read the article in question and I felt sorry for the new coach. The kids from Grover come from many soccer-playing nations. They play almost every day in the summer on their own at Lasalle Park. While I give last year's coach (Telly Forcucci) credit for keeping them focused and organized, I'll be on record as saying, I doubt if any of the players learned any soccer skills from him last year. I don't know him. He could be a great guy but I'm told his background is in hockey. I'd be willing to bet that every one of his starters knew more about the game than he did last year.
We'll find out soon enough. Forcucci is coaching the South Park girls soccer team this year. South Park's roster is not loaded with foreign students who already know how to play the game. This will be a more accurate test of his coaching abilities. We will be reporting on how they do against perennial powers City Honors, Hutch Tech, and Da Vinci. The team has rarely beaten these three schools in the past. I saw Hutch Tech's and Da Vinci's girls the last two summers in our South Buffalo summer leagues (their coaches signed them up as a group). A few of our travel players are also playing at those schools. I know City Honors' players mostly come from the Delaware Soccer Club.It will be interesting to see how South Park does, now that they have this world class coaching staff leading them. We'll see.