After reading the article written in the Monday, Oct. 28 edition of the Daily Bulletin and the letter to the editor by coach Dean Bruyere and sports writer Brian Bowman, I feel I have to respond.
I also was at that football game and I have to say that Brian Bowman’s rebuttal to coach Bruyere’s letter to the editor in last Wednesday’s paper prompted me to acquire a game tape.
In doing so, and reviewing the tape, it just reinforced what I saw at that game. What I thought should have been reported—and wasn’t—was clearly evident in the third and fourth quarters. And that was that the Dryden coaches clearly lost control of themselves and some of their players.
The Dryden coaches set a poor example when Ward Cockriell just walked out towards the centre of the field and started yelling at the referees who were trying to keep everything under control.
I saw one incident where a Muskie player (Doug LaBelle) was running down the sideline with the football, and probably on his way for a touchdown, when he was viciously tackled (helmet to his knees) by a Dryden player (#32), who was standing on the sidelines and ran on the field and delivered the blow when LaBelle was running by.
Of course, there was a penalty but did the Dryden coaches bench this fellow? Oh no. They sent him out on the very next play.
After watching the film and talking to some of the players, this was just one of the many cheap shots administered by the Dryden players.
On the other side of the ball, our players, for the most part, played a disciplined and controlled football game. This is a great credit to our coaching staff and players, and should have been made light of by the Times reporter.
As far as the Dryden coaches complaint that the Muskies ran up the score, or smashed a pumpkin before the game, as the reason why their players acted badly, or why the ugly incident at the end of the game happened, is just Dryden grabbing at straws to mask the fact that when they realized they couldn’t win fairly, they tried to goon it up to win that way.
The Muskies played very basic football and could have easily scored more points than they did. I think Mr. Bowman should have shed light on these facts.
As far as the scuffle at the end of the game is concerned, it is safe to say that after reviewing the tape of the incident involving Gary Wager and Dryden coach Kawahara, whether the Dryden coach had his hands on our quarterback is inconclusive because of the bad camera angle.
It may or may not have happened.
And the worst account of biased reporting was when you wrote Dryden coach Ward Cockriell “intervened.” I’ll say he intervened. He took, as you already know, a 10-yard run and attacked Muskie coach Bob Whitburn.
It appeared (though not conclusively) that he could have struck coach Whitburn with his left hand before they went out of view of the camera.
In conclusion, steps have been taken to hopefully see that this does not happen again. As well, all the readers of this paper should know of the tremendous effort the coaches of our football program put in year in and year out.
I would also hope that this paper and the reporters who work for it would be fair and report the facts as they see them and be as unbiased as possible.