(This letter was originally addressed to Nell Birk.)Dear Editor:I was truly upset after reading your letter to the editor about our coach, John Gillies (The Aspen Times, April 11).John has been my soccer coach since I started playing many years ago, and has helped to inspire my passion for the game. Not only was your letter an unnecessary attack against a man who gives up so much to be a part of our team, but it was also an attack against everyone who has ever played under him. To call a man who has done so much, not only for me, but for every other girl and boy who has stepped onto a soccer field in Aspen, “an embarrassment to his school and community” is extremely low. As a Basalt resident, I am also upset that you bring the tension between the two communities into this argument. Having twisted the words from John’s quote, you were able to change its meaning altogether. You made it seem as if John believed that all there is to do in Basalt is play soccer (and pick your nose – nice one), when all he was doing was complimenting how focused and together the Basalt team was.Which, by the way, is something I wish that our team could accomplish. Because of the ice rinks and ski hills (which you use, too), many of our players’ focus is on another activity up until the beginning and sometimes during the soccer season. This can make it difficult for us to transition on to the soccer field. Having said that, I would like to praise the Basalt team for their dedication. I find it truly unprofessional that you would send out such a horrible letter to the newspaper so that the entire community can hear your biased opinion on an event in which no way defines the character of our coach. You have a right to make such comments on someone we love as a person and a coach. I only wish that you would have taken time to learn about and understand the man that you so needlessly attacked.Taylor BuzbeeAspen varsity soccerBasalt
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