Letters to the Editor

Don’t fire this coach

As a member of the Oak Harbor High School girls tennis team, I was dismayed to read the letter, “Replace high school coaches” (News-Times, May 12) by T. Taylor. While it’s true that our team had a losing record, we didn’t give our coach very much to work with.

The varsity team is composed of four singles players and five doubles teams. Over the course of the season, one of our number one doubles players quit and four out of the top six players had injuries that resulted in them having to miss multiple practices and matches. In addition, over spring break, junior varsity players had to fill in our roster as only seven out of the 14 players were present, and we even had to forfeit one of the matches. Finally, we have to compete against teams that have access to year-round indoor tennis facilities.

I have attended Coach Mells’ summer tennis camps since I was 7 years old. Coach Mells started summer tennis camps in Coupeville in 1996 and in Oak Harbor in 1998 after he moved to Whidbey Island and discovered that no youth tennis program existed. During these camps, he offers 16 hours of instruction, a T-shirt, and medals for $40 per participant. Coach Mells is a perfect example of what makes Oak Harbor such a great community to live in: A selfless individual who is devoted to the youth of our community.

Jennifer Jansen

Oak Harbor

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