ALL AMERICAN BOYS
Thank you for your article
Bruce Hardy, All American Boy (April 29). He is obviously extremely talented. However, you left an important question unanswered. Is Bruce participating in athletics for fun, as he should be, or for a pushy father?
Kansas City, Mo.
My concern, after reading your article, is that every father in America will now try to make his son into "the athlete I never was." This worked well with Bruce Hardy, but for other kids the incessant pushing of a father might alienate a boy from sports, especially if he hasn't the all-round potential of a Bruce Hardy. I have seen fathers yelling at their 12-year-old sons after they performed poorly in a Little League game, and it is disgusting. The purpose of schoolboy sports is not to prepare kids for professional athletics, but to give them a chance to have some fun. How can any boy enjoy a baseball game if he must worry about pleasing his dad every time he goes to bat?
New London, Conn.
Though hardly a star in high school, I have lettered in football, wrestling and baseball, and I am proud to say I have never had a coach—and certainly not a father—who drove me to tears over mediocre play. I have learned to take the bad with the good, and I have benefited from both experiences.
Bruce Hardy the best schoolboy athlete in the country? Maybe. But here is a challenger, Dandy Dan Williams of DuPont High School near Charleston, W. Va. Consider his achievements:
He has been called the best high school quarterback, in the country by Letterman and Kickoff magazines and named to at least five All-America teams, including two years on the Scholastic Coach team. He is the only schoolboy in West Virginia football to be twice named best player of the year. He also has won the Thorn McAn award.
In baseball Dan made All-State in his junior year with a .412 batting average. He plays shortstop and third base and pitches. His won-lost record in his sophomore and junior years was 16-3, and he is unbeaten so far this year.
In basketball Williams was a starter for a state-title contender last year, and he started again this year before being sidelined by a knee injury. He was an outstanding track man in junior high before giving up that sport for baseball. And he is a straight-A student who has never been in a fight. Can't you at least call it a draw?
Charleston, W. Va.
I would imagine there are quite a few people who claim to know who the nation's finest prep athlete really is, but I would like to mention Georgia's Stan Rome. He has been named a high school All-America in both football and basketball and is mentioned as a possible Olympian in track.
Your article on Bruce Hardy brought back many pleasant memories. Having been born and raised in Bingham Canyon ( Utah) and graduated from Bingham High in 1959, I was delighted to see a fellow Miner get such recognition.
I might mention that the new head football coach at the University of Utah, Tom Lovat, is also a former Miner. Thank you for helping us Bingham fans keep in touch.
Mrs. FRED G. MORTON