My Turn

A very wound-up friend pointed out this “Duerrism”
from KHQA’s Chris Duerr.  It was posted
on KHQA’s website on October 22.

“Repeat after me, denizens
of Kahoka.  2008 Class 2 State Football
Champions. That is now how the rest of the state views your school and
community, like it or not. This is who you are. State Football Powerhouse.
Number three ranked team in the state. So can someone, ANYONE, explain to me
why in the name of common sense during a week of heavy rain, no one had the
good sense to move the Clark County Band Competition to say, I don’t know,
ANYWHERE else in the greater metroplex that is Kahoka/Wayland other than the
football field? This was the first week of Districts, for goodness sakes. Your
football team runs a high octane offense that excels on a good track. But
apparently, that was less important than having a bunch of heavy footed Tuba
Players tear up the home venue of the Northeast Missouri’s only reigning
football titlist; turning it into something akin to an overrun goat path. Might
I mention, it is a venue that was made better this off-season by the tireless
work and substantial financial contributions of the Football Association. All
their efforts apparently now shot in the name of John Williams and John Phillip
Sousa?

Really??

The Clark County Marching
Band has great tradition and is a well deserved source of community pride. That
is phenomenal for all involved. By the same token, marching bands, by
definition, can march ANYWHERE. Football has to be played on a Football Field.
Hold your Band Extravaganza on the practice field across the way, for example.
Or in the gymnasium. Maybe at the Elementary School. Heck, through the heart of
Kahoka itself. The kids could even stop at the Blimpie on the way back home and
enjoy a Hot Pastrami Sandwich. Tearing up a pristine football field defies
logic, especially after the football folks just dumped thousands of dollars in
improvements into it this summer. Do you think Erle Bennett would have to put
up with this incursion? Dale Labuary, Bill Connell? Come on, Can we not show
Matt Smith and his showcase program the same courtesy he has rightly earned
with that State Championship Ring and find ways to let both successful programs
shine? The success of both programs doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive and
by working together, maybe both programs can avoid the debacle that became
Clark County’s Field Friday Night.”

Oh, boy, where do we start?

The 18th Annual (for those of you in the
Quincy broadcast media, that means 18 years in a row) Parade of Champions
Competition was held in Kahoka on Saturday, October 10.  So that makes, let’s see…Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday…six days before the field was in use
by the football team.  Seems to me I’ve
read something about the entire world being created in six days.  Maybe IF it was a problem, something could
have been done about it.  And the field
was hardly “pristine” before that game. 
In case no one has noticed, it has been a wet fall, and the field takes
a beating with every game played.

The Parade of Champions was scheduled to
bring 22 parade bands and 16 field show bands to Kahoka, plus of course, the
hundreds of parents that follow their bands with equal fervor to that of
football fans. 

If you haven’t been there before, you will
never see the Clark County High School Activity Field more packed than during
the Parade of Champions Field Show Competition.

And let’s not forget that the whole point of
the event is to raise money support the Fine Arts Program. 

Or the overall economic impact of so many
people in Kahoka, crowding restaurants, buying food at the grocery stores and
filling up their cars before heading home.

By the way, that grassy field with the
stripes and the stands…it’s called the Activity Field.  Not the football field.  Not the band field.  Not the art field. Not the FFA field.  If the district wants to allow  a chess tournament or ultimate Frisbee
tournament on the field, that should be fine.

Band is a class at CCR-1.  Students get credit and a grade in band
class.  The school’s first job, of
course, is education.

How many students each year receive music
scholarships, and how many receive football scholarships? 

Football, basketball, softball, etc.-they’re
all extra-curricular activities. 
(Again, for you Quincy media types, that means outside of class.)

Where else in the “Kahoka/Wayland Metroplex”
could the competition be held?  I guess
to his thinking, any field will do. 
Never mind that there are hundreds of people on hand to watch, several
judges watching the marching and listening to the music from several angles to
score the bands.  Perhaps we could have
closed off the parking lot in front of the high school, and had some of the
judges sit on the roof?    Don’t worry
about the potholes and light poles, the kids will be fine if they don’t drop
their instruments.  And that light gray
mud will come out of the thousands of dollars of uniforms worn by each and
every band attending.

The Clark County Marching Indian band has
performed all across the country, from New York to Indianapolis to Chicago to
Pasadena to Honolulu and more–all paid for by fundraisers, including the
Parade of Champions.

The Indian football team has played in
Brookfield, Milan, Unionville, Edina, Queen City, Shelbyville, Memphis, Macon
and St. Louis–paid for by the school district.

The Clark County Indian Football team has
worked very hard and earned the reputation as a top-ranked football team.  And last season’s 15-0 record and Class 2
State Championship is a huge honor and accomplishment.   Year after year, Matt Smith and his
coaching staff brings together a group of young men and teaches them the
football skills and discipline required to be champions.  Many kudos should go out the coaching staff.

This season, they’ve demonstrated that they
are yet another tough, highly-competitive and class-act football team.  And whether or not they earn another State
Championship won’t change that.  Nor
will the fact that they played a football game on a muddy field.

Year after year, Bob Dooley develops young
musicians, (many of whom are also football players) and teaches them the music
skills and discipline required to be champions.  And at halftime of that very same game, the band performed their
field show on that same muddy field.

The programs aren’t so different, are they?

Clark County High School has many things to
be rightfully proud of.  Football.  Band. 
An FFA program second to none. 
So many student activities and clubs excel each and every day.

Whether on the field, in the band room or
classroom, students work together.  It’s
called teamwork.

We don’t need people, either inside or
outside of Clark County, pushing the groups apart.

Want to have your say?  We welcome letters to the editor, or you can
post your comments at www.nemonews.net.

11 Responses to My Turn

  1. Anonymous

    March 1, 2010 at 10:54 PM

    Now, I’m jus’ a simple country person but with all the hoopala over Mr. Duerr’s comments and the posted talk below I decided to do a little investigation this winter and I found out what started it all. I thought: Why would Mr. Duerr even care or bother to care what happens in Clark County – it’s a big world out there – right?

    Anyway, I asks around and it comes down to this: Some years back, Mr. Duerr comes to town to cover a football game and gets his camera set up. After he does that – some of the “young ladies” of CCR-I demand that he take their picture or film them. He politely declines and they call him everything in the book but white.

    So, naturally, he returns to the TV station and reports on that on the air and he gets more flak on that report.

    If’n I was him – I wouldn’t bother covering anything or saying anything about Clark County again. But that’s jus’ my opinion – ya know.

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