To the Editor:
Your special feature on the football teams at Manhattan High School in the late 1980s brought back many great memories of that era for those of us who were very close to the program. The parents bonded as well as the players.
There were many road trips, times when we about froze, one bad heartbreak (the 1987 champ-ionship game) and memories to last a lifetime.
In addition to the coaches mentioned, Brent Yancey, Tony Andrade and Steve Clark played roles in the formative years of our sons’ football careers. The support of the cheerleaders, Scott Wissman, the band, the student body and community was fantastic. Road games had the atmosphere of home games.
One incident that we will never forget, and Coach Lane may just be learning of, is that Topeka West was the toughest team on the remaining schedule and Coach Walton’s brother was the head coach of the New York Jets.
Apparently Coach Lane had always told his players that it might be more important that the team got a good night’s rest on Wednesday as well as Thurs-day,. The team interpreted this to mean it was OK to go out on Thursday. A large group spent the evening at Bramlage Colis-eum at the Def Leppard concert.
Although they were not unreasonably late getting in, their hearing apparently didn’t return until coach got hold of them at halftime. The parents really sweated that first half, as we could see all their hard work over the summer and early fall slipping away.
Certainly Manhattan has been blessed by great, and dedicated, coaches in all sports and has been fortunate to have teachers just as dedicated throughout the schools, but the demand on the football team to give extra effort, improve and work hard certainly was driven into their teenage heads.
We know that the lessons learned have carried over into the adult lives of the 20 seniors on that 1988 team. Coach didn’t mention it, but every one of them attended a college and every one of them has had a successful career in his chosen field.
We thank Coach Lane and his staff, plus all the other teachers and administrators who gave our kids the opportunity to have success and reach their potential.
1516 Wyndham Heights