To be a coach in this era at the high school level is nothing short of a can't win situation. No matter how your season turns out, someone is still going to be upset.
Undefeated and win the league title? Well someone's precious child did not get enough playing time and in turn that respective coach ruined the child's high school career, severely hurt their chance to play in college and honestly ruined their chance to be a professional athlete.
You think I am kidding? It has gotten so bad, that especially in areas of privilege, this attitude has trickled down into youth sports. It has gotten so bad that after spending 40 years around sports of all levels, I have steadfastly maintained the only place I would want to coach now is in an orphanage.
So for a coach to spend 30 years coaching in this area, especially in the ultra-popular sport of football, they have to be one of the bravest individuals and be able to separate the good of the game from the helicopter parents.
Such is the case with former Amador Valley football coach Rick Sira. Sira, who retired as an administrator at Amador in the last couple of years, recently made the decision to step away from the football program as well. All those years and all those hours put into building the Amador program is something he won't have to deal with any longer.
But he will be missed, plain and simple. There were great seasons, championships and as is always the case, there were some tough years. But the undeniable truth is, every kid that had a chance to play for Sira is a better person for having that opportunity.
He stressed accountability, not just to yourself, but to your teammates as well. In an era of "me-first", Sira went the other way and basically said, "look to your left, look to your right, these are your brothers embrace it."
It was my absolute pleasure to be able to talk with Sira over the years about Amador football, but what I cherished the most was our conversations that had nothing to do with football specifically, but rather how his players had grown into young men. You see I coached a great many of his players in youth sports throughout the years and it was always special to hear how so many of them were becoming fine young men.
There is no shortage of parents that feel it was an honor for their kids to play for Sira. Something far more than a win-loss record, it was how they were coached as people that resonates. There certainly are other coaches still coaching that bring these qualities to coaching and when they step away, I will be the first to extoll their virtues. It is great to see so many young coaches come into the industry with the right values, but I am scared they will get chased out by the over-zealous parents. A coach can be a brick wall when dealing with certain parents, but beat on a wall long enough and eventually something has to give.
The saving grace for Amador football at this point is that I know "retired" means, "I won't be there 12 hours a day." But I fully expect Sira will be around the program for the next few years and all those associated will benefit. Cheers Rick and enjoy your time with your family!
The Foothill varsity sent four wrestlers to the North Coast Section meet last Friday and Saturday at James Logan High in Union City. Sophomore Cameron Ghoddoucy finished in eighth place after going 0-2 as a freshman. Junior Justin Phillips had a good weekend as well, finishing in sixth place.
Freshman Seyong Chang battled to a 2-2 mark and junior Jeevan Bal finished 1-2.