DEAR SPORTS EDITOR:
I had the pleasure spending my high-school years at John F. Kennedy. Along the way, I established relationships with many of my coaches and fellow peers that continue today and are as strong as ever. I also played football, basketball and ran track, which were some of the best years of my life. What's most important for me as I look back are the coaches that had an impact on who I was then and the man I am today. So with the recent firing of coach Pompelia I find myself confused. Coach Pomp was not only my J.V. basketball coach but that relationship turned into him being a mentor to me and now a friend with whom I have the utmost respect and love for. He helped me get a job at one of the local banks during the summer time when I would come home from college and countless other acts of kindness.
I was so happy when I heard the news that he was coaching at Kennedy again. In the past and as recent as Thanksgiving 2013, coach Pomp had me speak to the team. I spoke about my experiences as a youth and the lessons and values that were instilled in me with my sports career at Kennedy. The bond that coach Pomp establishes with his players goes way beyond a player coach relationship. I am a firm believer that coaches should have a tough love approach because the relationship transcends sports and prepares our young men for a tough world. I am not clear on why he was fired and I would like to know, as I am sure many people in Warren, would like to know as well.
You will not find anyone more dedicated to Kennedy or anyone who has more love for Kennedy or time invested in that school. Coach Pomp never expected us to be the best, but rather always give our best. With coach Pomp being fired and the reason for him being fired unclear, at least to me, those kids are the ones who lose.