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Letter to the editor of the Santa Clarita Signal


Dear Editor of the SCV Signal,

This week parents were told that the Saugus High School Band would not be playing at home basketball games because the represent a “disruptive influence that provides and unfair advantage.” As I understand the story, a coach of a rival team across town complained to the district and league officials that Saugus, who had won the game in the night in question, had an advantage because the visiting team was distracted.

Well boo hoo. Forget for a moment that this so-called “disruptive influence,” failed to secure victories at any other home contest last year, there is a reason why it's called a home field advantage. There's more fans rooting for the home team, there's cheerleaders, alumni, and the fact that the home team is on their home court. Having a band to play during breaks in the action is just a part of the pagentry of high school sports.

And even then, there's another side of the gym that has the same amount of bleacher seats and if a visiting team wants to be represented and equal the proverbial playing field, they are more than welcome to bus their own ticket paying fans to the game, and if memory serves, their fans just didn't turn out to the support their team. And this wasn't a case where a high school was traveling a hundred miles or so to play a contest and so few fans make the trip, this was merely across town, and only a few dozen showed up.

How will this silly rule prepare high school players for the loud and hectic pageantry of college sports? How will limiting a band's performance time make them better or give them exposure to playing before large crowds? The answer is, it won't.

What's next? No cheerleaders? Maybe limiting them to only three or four pom poms? Limited home seating? Why not just play without any fans at all? Just two teams always on a neutral court behind closed doors. How boring.

To tell the band they are limited to no more than 25 players, and eight minutes of total playing time for all games on any given date is the latest “gem” from the thinking that giving participation trophies make kids feel better after they've lost, and good intentions rarely prepare them for the real world where there are winners and loosers. Thats' why it paves the so called “road to hell.”

I'm reminded of the words of legendary football coach Steve Spurrier who responded to a complaint by a losing coach … “Well, if you don't like it, get some better players and coach better.”

The Saugus High School, or any other band for that matter, should not have to suffer or be to blame because of the sour grapes of a bad sport who isn't teach his team how to overcome adversity. But the team leader in question instead cries to league officials with an entitled spirit.

It is my hope that district and league officials will reconsider this silly decision, and remember what high school sports is all about … the competition, and teaching students how to overcome difficult conditions, because life doesn’t always play by the rules.


James DeRuvo
Saugus, CA

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