To the editor:
I understand the media advantages of a rivalry, but please do not express your pro-Free State bias at the expense of the hard-working athletes. Yes, the students get competitive, but the next day we are still students, peers and friends with our cross-town “rivals.” Referring to the Lawrence High School football team sans Strauss as “declawed” is insensitive, yet typical of the Lawrence Journal-World’s high school sports page. I don’t remember reading anything about the clipped-winged Firebirds after losing Jake Walter in last week’s soccer game.
It is the adults, not the students, who make these remarks and facilitate this exaggerated rivalry. Any member of the LHS football team, including Brad Strauss, will tell you that one person does not make a team. The friendly jersey exchange between Hunter Pierce and Johannes Reiber epitomizes the incredible level of sportsmanship that these athletes have. Both sides practice strenuously, and both sides battle on the playing field. Both sides want to win. Both sides respect each other. Please follow the example of these high school students and refrain from letting your personal biases influence your coverage of high school sports.