Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank coach Pat Crampsie, his staff, and the boys who gave their all on the hardwoods for the Panther Valley Panthers this season. Nobody works harder than Coach Crampsie and his staff to put a quality product on the floor, year in, and year out. Like any school's sports teams, some years are better than others, and, while this season ended with a disappointing loss to arch-rival Tamaqua, and missing the district playoffs, I, for one, came away impressed and encouraged.

In every game I attended, the Panther boys hustled from the opening tip off, to the final buzzer. They knew their assignments, and they did the best they could to execute, in spite of the odds stacked against them.

More often than not, our boys have to go up against schools that are able to fill out their rosters from a much larger pool of talent. As a result, our boys are usually smaller and less experienced in the game's finer points than the teams they face, but they would fight hard, anyway, even when the game was no longer in doubt. That is a testament to their coach, as well as to their own personal pride. In my opinion, no one better exemplified this trait than Kyle Ferriman. In every game I attended, Kyle was the shortest player on the floor, but what he lacked in size, he more than made up for with hustle, grit, and determination. There were moments throughout the latter part of the season when I saw disappointment register on some faces, but I never saw anyone quit, and that speaks volumes about you. That trait, alone, will help you become successful in life. If you doubt me, consider the method used by the Navy Seals to select their teams. It is not always the biggest, or the strongest, or the fastest who make the grade, no, they look for the people who never quit, the same trait you showed us this year.

Therefore, you have all earned our thanks, as well as our admiration.

Mark Trusa

Lake Hauto