Voices From The Readers – January 27, 2023

Voices From The Readers – January 27, 2023

Coach Defended


I wanted to respond to the letter to the editor that was titled “Shameful Coaching Display” about our SDHS girls basketball coach and the game played against Mardela where the girls won 59-2.

As the mother of an athlete, I have always paid close attention to the coaching done at all levels and all sports she has played since she was 4 years old. My daughter decided to play basketball this year for the first time (played once in 5th grade) and the confidence she has and the improvements she has made since she started has been amazing to see. I attribute that fully to Coach Kurtz and Coach Aaron. I watch on the sidelines how both these coaches cheer and encourage the girls during their games. Constantly building them up, making them an amazing team who work together and have an amazing bond on and off the court. When my daughter was recruited and looked at by colleges for lacrosse, the one thing they ALL commented on was how much they loved her “aggression”. This is a good thing Coach Kurtz is teaching them, not bad.

On Jan. 17, Wicomico beat Mardela 49-10, on Dec. 13 Parkside beat Mardela 74-6, does that also mean those high school teams are now run by horrible coaching? No. When kids hit high school and college, the days of everyone getting an award are way over. The days of everyone getting to play are too. It’s the athletes and what they put into it and how hard they choose to work along with the coaching staff’s encouragement that shows on the court or field.

I have always respected others’ feelings and opinions, but I also have always spoken out for what I believe in and I found the letter to the editor was unfortunate and should have been discussed with the coaching staff directly if there was concern.

Coach Kurtz is not only a great coach, but a great teacher in the classroom to my daughter as well. He and Coach Aaron should be commended for the job they are doing and it’s great to watch these girls as they play a sport so many love to watch.

Colby Phillips



Scathing Commentary Off Base


There was letter to the editor submitted to The Dispatch that had a scathing commentary on the Decatur Girls Basketball Coach. Here’s my background to this response.

I too am a coach and I have been privileged to have coached most of the girls on the Decatur varsity during their middle school years. I have had casual interaction with Coach Scott Kurtz over the years of his tenure as head coach. But we are nothing more that casual acquaintances. So know I am fan of all the players. And cheer for them to have success.

A number of “options” were offered to Coach Kurtz as to how he was supposed to keep the score “down”. I’ll offer a different perspective. Most high school teams have 10-12 players. Obviously some are more talented, athletic, coachable etc. There are starters (the better players for the most part) and substitutes. They all go to practice daily, they all put in literally hours of skill development and conditioning. This happens not only at school but in the off season. Girls who “put in the work” will be better basketball players. Decatur has many of those players throughout their roster.

I have been to quite a number of Decatur games over the past several seasons. I cannot comment specifically on the Mardela game (that the writer found to be so objectionable) as I was not there. But I have seen any number of Decatur games where the scores were similar. Quite frankly, those Decatur opponents simply are not capable at competing at Decatur’s level. That is not the fault of Decatur players or coach.

Coach Kurtz has not full court pressed when it becomes obvious the game will not be competitive. In addition, each game has a 30 second shot clock meaning teams must shoot the ball within 30 seconds of each possession. Coaches coach everyone on their team to play hard, execute an offense, play defense and play by the rules.

It would be totally disrespectful to their opponent to tell players to not shoot or even not play hard. Coaches coach everyone on the team. A coach cannot tell the “starters” to play as they practice then because the opponent is not strong to tell the substitutes to “take it easy”.

There are any number of reasons for the disparity in the quality of competition in the area. Regardless, to chastise Coach Kurtz is misguided.

I am in full agreement that we should teach our players to have good sportsmanship. We too as coaches should exhibit good sportsmanship. And we too have an obligation to coach our team. We coach our player to play hard and be aggressive. But we shouldn’t be expected to tell them to “play hard” “but not today”.

This disparity in talent and ability is not unique to the Bayside Conference. It is common throughout the Henlopen Conference in Delaware too. We are blessed to live in an area with a tremendous diversity of opportunities for children to participate in sports as well as many other activities. Many girls choose not to play basketball. Some do though. Decatur has been the beneficiary of many who have chosen to play basketball.

Coach Kurtz should not be called out.

Paul F. Weisengoff

Ocean Pines


Right Of Way Effort Wrong


This is to express my opposition to abandoning the city owned right of way along Baltimore Ave.

If the street is to be “redeveloped” for 15 blocks (about a mile), why would this 20-foot-wide strip not be incorporated in the design? Burying the utilities is great, but the extra width could be fantastic.

The Margaritaville project is the tail wagging the dog in this situation.

Ocean City and Worcester County politicians wield an inordinate amount of power due to the economic engine that is Ocean City. We have beautiful public facilities and well-maintained beaches, but I feel there is a tendency to go too far afield when it comes to encouraging commercial growth, to the point of trying to become developers and managers of large scale sports facilities, or, as in Snow Hill, buying some ridiculously expensive old boat.

I would like to see The Dispatch act like a real newspaper with regard to the Gavin case.

Publish the facts, and who is responsible for the grievous delay in prosecution. Stay on it.

I think you could make something happen if you were so inclined.

Barry Unger

Ocean City


Do Away With OC Council


The only way for the deep pockets and the wealthy council to stop overbuilding Ocean City is by not having a City Council at all. The city council is in it to enrich themselves, their families, attorneys and close friends. Example A is the (Buddy) pier deal.

Ocean City is becoming over populated with tourists and less like the beach. It’s cheaper to go to Vegas then a trip to Ocean City. The Mayor and City Council do not care about the families or the family environment that the past has shown.

Historical buildings, stores, businesses and other places that are the deciding factors for people to come to ocean city is now not a good enough reason or experience to come back. Old and outdated theme parks, don’t forget overpriced.

Crime: Crime has become the epicenter of ocean city. The council hired more enforcement? But the crimes are getting more dangerous and more ballsy. Not that long ago a gentleman got beat up. What is going to take before you stop making excuses for the mayor and council and say we are tired of what’s going on?

You have the power, the voices, the votes, you have everything you need to restructure the way Ocean City is conducting business. Having a City Council worked in the past. But it’s not the future. It’s time for a new mayor and no council. Take all the salaries of the hopefully soon to be former council/mayor too and make it the new mayor’s salary. So the (not Meehan) new mayor can be the spokesperson, the salesman and the motivation on why people come to Ocean City.

Set goals, set the standards that the néw future mayor has to follow. Just like any other job that requires you to have certain qualifications and responsibilities.  And you never know who that new future mayor could be either.

Just some thoughts that you could possibly consider. Get signatures, get whatever you need to push the city council out. Ocean City will become number one again. Don’t you think having a 2024 or a future year on the sign would be better than a 2001 sign? All American City 2024 or better.

Families have been attacked by criminals from Baltimore and other cities. Has anyone ever thought about who you could be walking next to you? Or sitting next to on the bus?  Very important questions. You want to protect families, students, business owners and all who want up enjoy a new future Ocean City? Vote to remove the city council. Don’t use emotions, use your instincts.

DT Hagan

Chincoteague, Va.


Shameful Move To Print

The only thing shameful was that you felt the need to publish the letter from someone who claims to have been a “coach.” M. Scott Chismar’s letter concerning the “shameful’ behavior of Coach Kurtz of the Stephan Decatur’s Girls Basketball game is a perfect example of what we see everyday in this county. Someone commenting on a situation that they had zero knowledge of, was not even at the game, and has never spoken to anyone involved with the situation.

He read one sentence in an article, took it completely out of context and is now calling for the firing of a good, honest and decent man, who does Mr. Chismar think he is? I didn’t realize he was the keeper of all things “good”. I’ve had the privilege of having my daughter coached by Mr. Kurtz for the past two years and NOTHING he has done or said comes anywhere close to shameful in my eyes.

If Mr. Chismar had been at the game in question he would have seen that Coach Kurtz did everything that Mr. Chismar suggested he do to make the situation a learning experience. They took time before shooting, they played zone, they played subs more minutes, etc. Did he ever think to ask anyone if these things occurred before he fired off his scathing assessment of man he’s never met? Did he ever think to ask how the Mardela kids reacted to the game? They were smiling and having fun, by the way, trying their best to the very end. Did he ever think that there are girls on the Decatur team who may want to advance their lives by getting a scholarship to play basketball in college? The answer is no to all of these questions. Once again, he’s going to make sure we all know he’s got Coach Kurtz pegged after reading two or three sentences in an article.

The only thing shameful about this entire situation is that it happens far too often these days. I encourage everyone to listen, learn, inquire before you judge. This world would be such a better place.

Don Boger

Ocean Pines