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Marina and Bill Raney

November 4, 2012
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,

We have been dealing with a teenager who was part of the "wrong crowd" for about a year now. We get discouraged as we see what kids are experimenting with and how easy this generation quits on themselves. Our focus has been on the wrong crowd and how to best overcome their influence. Last week, our focus changed thanks to a few young men. They happen to be part of the football program, but these are high quality gentlemen whether playing sports or not. We want to congratulate Coach Olsen and his coaching staff for a successful season on and off the field. These guys work with our children and instill in them a sense of community and "giving back" that I think makes our program successful regardless of the wins and losses. Whatever happened Monday night in Wapsie Valley, these gentlemen and others touched by our coaching staff are winners! We realize this may be embarrassing, but that is not our intent. We simply want to acknowledge something that meant a lot to us and let these gentlemen, their parents, and the community know that the "good crowd" is alive and well.

It has been hard for us emotionally to go to football games with our son in another school and not on the field. We have been to a few games, but it has just been an effort. I had surgery last Wednesday and texted Joe Zimmerman good luck and to please let me know the outcome after the game. Marina had made the game so I knew it was a Rebel victory and we were enjoying the balmy weather on our deck when a car pulled in. Imagine our surprise and delight when 5 football players get out to see how we are doing and to spend a little time telling us about the game and what challenges await them to continue in the playoffs.

Joe and Phil Zimmerman, Cam Kickbush, Pete Meyers, and Trevor Trunck spent a few minutes making some discouraged parents feel a bit better about the student athletes at G-R Schools. We thought their parents should know that they are doing something right with these young men. The typical teenager wants to get to the hangout spot and celebrate the season continuing, rather than replaying the game to somebody else's parents. These guys talked as a team and told us who had played well, who made the field goal, who ran the ball and who had big hits. It wasn't about self congratulation as getting them to talk about individual accomplishments was like pulling teeth, but to get them talking about the team was very easy. Getting them to talk about Wapsie and what it would take to win, was also easy. These are great kids. We are lucky to have them in our community and the football staff and parents have much to do with how these men represent themselves.

We didn't want to embarrass you guys, but wanted you to know how much we appreciated the visit. Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little time with us. We miss hearing about the joys of competing on a team. No matter how far you go in this playoff, we are encouraged about where you will go with your lives. Good luck Rebels and thanks again boys!


Marina and Bill Raney



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