Forum: In praise of student athletes’ character on, off field

Sure, Snohomish High’s football team are ‘big, stinky kids,’ but they have kind, accepting hearts.

By Dana Sue Smith / Herald Forum

Sometimes a person just has to call out people for their behavior, so here I go:

The Snohomish Panther Football team, yep, the entire team, is a gift to our community and especially to my family. My husband, Craig, has been an assistant coach for many years. Even when it is a “building year” he loves this team, year in and year out. He is tough on them, I think that is a simple fact, but they try hard, and they work hard. I love that.

They are also what I like to refer to as “big, stinky kids” and I mean that with a big smile and with all my love, as any mom of these athletes would probably agree. What I am talking about though is the immense kindness and accepting nature they show towards our daughter, Sara. Sara is 27, has Williams syndrome and often goes to practice with Craig. She has a range of challenges including mental retardation, anxiety issues, some physical limitations, etc. The Panthers treat her as if she was a princess, as if she was their favorite little sister. It has brought me to tears more than once.

Imagine you are looking at this giant, growling, fierce football lineman on the field. Roar! And then, as he is getting ready to leave, in a heartbeat that same seriously tough guy is listening to Sara tell him about her two kittens and our dog, Sophie, with rapt attention.

I guess I could name them but then I would have to name all of them because they are all so sweet, so kind, and again, so accepting of a person with a serious disability. I will also add the entire coaching staff, starting with Coach Hammer, to my praise, along with all of the parents who truly care about helping build men and women of value. How cool is that? We are blessed. Go Panthers!

Dana Sue Smith lives in Snohomish.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Opinion

toon
Editorial cartoons for Saturday, June 22

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

FILE - Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max 8 sits on the tarmac at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia, April 13, 2019. Indonesia said Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, it is lifting its ban on Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft, three years after one crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. (AP Photo Nicole Evatt, File)
Editorial: Boeing quality proving difficult to recapture

The company seeks to assure its rededication to quality, but recent news is getting in the way.

Comment: Mobile home residents need help to stave off eviction

Site rental fees are increasing beyond what tenants, often seniors, can afford. Immediate aid is necessary.

Comment: Public-centered process needed for political borders

Partisan influence affected the state’s legislative redistricting process, forcing late and disruptive changes.

Comment: City’s, county’s self-insurance disadvantages workers

Self-insurance allows claims to be too easily denied. Recent legislation restores some fairness.

Forum: Summit on policing will start ongoing conversation on reforms

The June 29 event in Everett offers panel discussions and interviews with law enforcement and others.

toon
Editorial cartoons for Friday, June 21

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Schwab: Ruling removes all doubt for expanded Supreme Court

The bump stock ruling, effectively legalizing machine guns, makes it necessary to dilute the majority.

Herald journalists should be paid a living wage

As a subscriber who depends on The Herald to inform me about… Continue reading

Call members of Congress and urge support of vaccine funding

With the covid vaccine, a new malaria vaccine, and a tuberculosis vaccine… Continue reading

Biden isn’t who should drop out of race

I had wanted to respond to Bret Stephens’s New York Times opinion… Continue reading

Paul: Some folks doth protest to no effective end

Some of us are not interested in performative protests that generate more heat than outcomes.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.