Letter to editor - Smith

By John Peters

August 30, 2013

To the Editor,

As a former East Surry student and sports writer for the Mount Airy News, I was saddened to hear of the recent changes which have occurred in the Athletic Department at my Alma mater. Softball Coach Derrick Hill, a 5-time state champion and my former teacher, is somehow no longer with the school and has moved onto a job at South Stokes, without a full-time coaching gig.

I’m not sure how this can be, but from my time on the sidelines and in the social scene of Pilot Mountain (and around Surry County Schools), I have a pretty good idea. Without a doubt, it’s a downright shame someone who has led the most visible Surry County sporting team of the last 20 years can be swept aside with no mention.

Apparently, his drafting teaching position has been cut at the school, but make no mistake, if this was a football coach, there would be a different outcome. Obviously, those intimately involved in East Surry softball saw it fit not to fight for their coach - an interesting development to say the least. But, with great success comes great burden and great ego - and obviously, the egos of the softball community in Pilot Mountain have grown, “too big for their britches”.

I do not doubt the replacement will be a fine fit, and do not fault them in the least. But they are an innocent bystander in what I see as a case of foul play. But as we all know, you reap what you sow, so if I were the East Surry softball mafia, I’d be rethinking my decision to err against a man who the players OBVIOUSLY loved and respected, and who was bald-faced honest - something which the social politicians of small-town life sometimes abhor.

Coach Hill played who he thought would give him the best chance to win - who deserved to play. He taught respect for the game, your opponent and your teammate and the records speak for themselves. I wish Derrick Hill the best of luck and wish the best of luck to East Surry softball. One man does not a team make, but I think the players and students at East Surry have lost a valuable presence that cannot be replaced.

Thomas Smith

Baltimore, MD