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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Monday, January 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Letters to the editor: Jerry Krause’s ideas for youth sports work well

Krause has right idea with “Be Like Coach”

Hats off to Jerry Krause and his program “Be Like Coach.” Without good youth sports programs higher-level sports in high school, college and the pros will suffer. He is also 100 percent correct that participation in youth sports should be an enjoyable experience. I am the sole survivor of the six organizers and incorporators of Spokane Junior Football, which we later renamed Spokane Youth Sports. The other original organizers and incorporators were: Dr. O. Charles Olson, M.D.; Dr. John Albi, DDS; Howard Warrick; Oscar Santschi and Bob Peters.

We organized the program around an equal participation rule. Each participant on every team played equal time. Officials kept the time and took an official’s timeout for substitutions. Dwight Merkel became our first executive director after participating as a coach.

It took us meeting Sundays for one year in l965 to get organized, incorporated and operating in 1966. Community businesses provided much needed financial support.

Krause’s program emphasizing participants having a good experience, provided by knowledgeable coaches and not just emphasizing a need to win every time out, is a solid base for future participation at a higher level.

Spokane Youth Sports also provides coaching clinics for its coaches. I participated for 18 years coaching in our program and saw many young participants continue in high school, college and professional programs.

I am confident Krause’s program will be widely accepted and provide a solid base for youth sports programs everywhere for everyone’s enjoyment.

R. Max Etter, Jr.


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