Letter: GHS players instructed not to talk to CHS players at pre-game dinner

Dear Editor,
I need to get something off of my mind.  My son will be one of the first of the graduating classes at Christopher High School.
He was born and raised in our fine city.  He attended the public school system at every level in Gilroy. He has played sports for Gilroy most all of his life, (basketball, baseball and football). I have coached him and many other young adults that now attend both CHS and Gilroy High School.
I feel fortunate to have coached him and all the others and I think I have always treated each of the young men I have coached as if they were my own.
My son had a bad experience at GHS with a freshman football head coach. This man  knew nothing about football and knew even less about social skills. Fortunately for my son, the next year, CHS opened. 
We live in the geographical area covered by CHS. Due to the “bad taste” left in my son’s mouth from the coach, my son opted to change schools from GHS to CHS. He did this to get a fresh start.
My wife and brother-in-law attended and graduated from GHS. I have many friends who attended GHS. In fact, my nephew is a star player on the Gilroy Mustang football and baseball teams. Many of my son’s best friends still attend GHS. I have absolutely no ill-will towards GHS. 
I think the rivalry forming between the two schools is healthy. It gives more local athletes the opportunity to play and compete.
But this is the thing that has been eating at me. GHS hosted a spaghetti dinner for the two competing schools on Nov. 9. This was the night before the “Severance Bowl.” Players from both schools, coaches, teachers and parents all attended. It’s an annual event and each school will take turns hosting.
I taught my son to be a respectable young man. During this dinner, my son approached several of the GHS football players. These are my sons life-long friends.  In fact, one of the players, a “star receiver” for the Gilroy Mustangs, is best friends with my son’s nephew.
My son walked up to these group of GHS players to pay his respects. The star receiver quickly told my son that “Coach Lo” advised all his football players not to talk to any of the CHS football players. My son respected this, turned and walked away quietly.
This obviously bothered my son. He returned home and advised me of this. I contacted several other CHS football parents. These parents advised me their student-athletes had told them the same thing.  That “Coach Lo” had told their players not to talk to CHS football players. This was told to each of the CHS players by other players on the GHS football team.
My son does not know I am writing this article. He would probably disagree with me writing it if he knew. I authored this article before the Severance Bowl is being played because I did not want readers to think I was motivated to write this to brag if CHS won or as sour grapes if they lost.
The thing that bothers me is this seems to be a classless move. Does the coaching staff and GHS administration condone not having the student-athletes speak at a social event – especially one hosted by them?
It seems to me that by doing this, it perpetuates resentment between the players and further divides lifelong friends and athletes that are our future. What lesson does this teach our young adults? I am not sure why our student-athletes can not compete on the playing field and still be friends at social functions. Can someone help me understand this?
Baffled father,

Brian Pickens, Gilroy     
The Golden Quill is awarded occasionally for a well-written letter.

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