This letter is in response to the recent events that occurred near Brashear High School (“Shooting Near Brashear Called Teen’s Revenge,” Nov. 14). Life is a challenge that all must accept in their “own world.” Not all “worlds” are the same. There are some good, and some bad.
Those in the “good” world only can read what occurs in the “bad” world. In life I’ve been in both “worlds.”
I am a WPIAL football official who recently had the honor to officiate the semi-final football contest between University Prep and Perry Traditional Academy. The City League has an athletic director named Mike Gavlik, whose hands-on effort to control the functioning of City League games is just phenomenal.
I’ve seen it all in my football officiating career (more than 37 years). My point is this, you only can read or hear about negative events that occur in the “bad” world. My semi-final game between the two schools began with meeting with the two teams and discussing my expectations, and the PIAA’s sportsmanship message with the teams. The game was an expected heated contest between the two teams, and ended with University Prep edging Perry by the score of 8-0.
At the game’s end I was approached by a young University Prep captain, whose name or number I can’t recall. That was an error on my part. He said to me “ thanks ref, and thank you for your service.” When I flipped my coin, a U.S. Marine coin that I use always to determine the options at the beginning of games, and explained that I was very proud of serving the corps, I didn’t realize that some of the messages that are spoken are subliminally accepted. You know, that response to me by that young man, made me feel honored. It has not happened often within my officiating sports career.
I have been proud, as I previously said, to officiate, and be part of the City League football. We always hear, and see the bad that occurs in the “bad world.” There is a lot of good that comes out of it also. I’ve seen, and heard, and have been associated with that good.
JOHN WAYNE MATTIS