With our final game played on Thanksgiving weekend and equipment return finally behind us, we not only have officially closed our 2013 season but a chapter in our long and storied legacy as well. When our 2014 season begins this summer, we will be without some faces who have been the back bone of our organization for many years.
Frank Shelley, who has been our commissioner for more than 20 years, has made the tough decision to retire from the football program. A tough decision because second only to his family, this program was the love of Frank’s life. He poured his heart and soul into it each and every year. When I think of the dedication and lasting impact he has had on our football organization what comes to mind is the reputation we enjoy throughout the league. Whether it’s game officials, coaches or parents from other towns, we are repeatedly complimented on our player’s sportsmanship, how well organized our teams are and how enjoyable it is to come to our field. Frank, please know that this is a direct result of your dedication to leading a youth sports program that instills respect, integrity, sportsmanship and teamwork within our sons.
We also have 4 head coaches who are stepping down.
· Rob Garner - After over 20 years of coaching, Rob has decided to not return as head coach of the unlimited team. Rob’s dedication to the program over the years and his commitment to building the character of our players has been invaluable. Through the Garner award, in memory of his son Nicholas, he has set the bar for which all our players strive to become, not good football players but outstanding young men. Rob may continue to work with the unlimited staff as an assistant.
· Bob Hastings – Bob will be stepping down as head coach of the 85s. Over the 8 years with the program Bob has instilled a love for the game within the players that he coached. His energy and passion will be greatly missed. Hopefully Bob will continue with the program in other capacities supporting the program.
· Jeff Ucello – Jeff stepped up last year when we needed a coach for the 70s. An advocate for football and our program he was instrumental in recruiting the next generation of Medford football players. While he is stepping down as head coach of the 70s, Im hoping he will continue to contribute to the program over the coming years.
We also will be losing two parent volunteers
· Renee Rieger – Renee has served as Team Mom for a number of years and has worked alongside the other team moms ensuring that our program continues to operate smoothly including organizing of the volunteer efforts, regular weekly communications, banquet planning and of course being an advocate of the parents keeping the coaches in line.
· Kristen Sarlo – Kristen has spent a number of years working behind the scenes heading our social event planning and clothing sales. Both efforts are extremely important to the financial success of the program and both take a tremendous amount of time. Just as an encore, she also stepped up as team mom of the unlimited team this year.
I hope each of you are able to walk away with a feeling of pride knowing that your commitment to MYAA Football has left a lasting impression on the young men that grew up as a Medford Indian Football player.
The reason I am writing this email is that I will be remaining with the program and taking the reins from Frank as the program Commissioner. As many of you know I've been around for a number of years and the third of my three sons played his final game as an Indian this past season. This would be a great time for me to join my son and wife as they move on to Shawnee. But I've made the decision to stay with the program for a couple of reasons. The program has faced a number of challenges over the last few years and I thought there was a need for some form of stability and consistency in this time of transition with so many valuable and dedicated people leaving. The second reason for taking the position is because I feel it is a great time to re-energize the program with new faces and fresh ideas. While I may be a member of the old guard, my goal is to get as many of you as possible involved in joining those who already contribute above and beyond, in forming the direction of our program.
Over the coming months I will be asking for your input in helping build a foundation for which to set the future of Medford Indians football. Our first order of business is to fill our open coaching positions and establish a volunteer board. While we already have candidates in line to be considered for these positions, now is the time to convey to me your interest in coaching. Even if not for the head coaching positions, I would like to hear from you if you have an interest in being an assistant. Regarding the volunteer board, there are a number of positions that need to be filled such as treasurer, secretary, equipment manager as well as volunteers for our many fundraising efforts. With both our coaching staff and volunteer board, we can never have too many parents helping out.
For alumni parents and players who may be reading this, as with my family, the years spent at the field cheering on your sons and their friends is an indelible part of your family history. Memories shared by you and your children along with the lifelong friends you made while with us. Your contributions to the program during your time here built the legacy that we look forward to adding to. For that, you will always be a part of the Medford Indians football family. We may look to you for support as we address the challenges facing us. Although you can drop off the mailing list if you wish not to be included in our communications at any time, we hope that you welcome our invitations to join us in our social events and our efforts to keep you up to date on our successes through Facebook and our website as well as the occasional email.
I thank each of you in advance for your support and efforts to continue the legacy that is Medford Indians football.
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