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Letters to The Platteville Journal for April 22
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Why kill the co-op?

These letters were sent by members of this season’s Benton/Shullsburg girls basketball team after the decision by the Six Rivers Conference to not approve the co-op team for the next two school years.

I wish I could just wake up from this nightmare. I would like to know the real reason people voted our co-op down. Honestly, it was most likely because we were successful. Is it bad to want to be successful?

No one believed we would be at the top of our conference by the end of the year. We worked our butts off to get there. Waking up at 5:30 to lift before school and getting up every day during the summer to play basketball is not any easy thing to do; it’s exhausting. But hard work and dedication pays off.

All the achievements our program has earned these past four years are because of our will to win. Ben–Shull wasn’t just a team to us; it was so much more than that. The friendships we’ve made will last a lifetime. And I guess that’s probably why we played so well together because we didn’t have any drama.

I would have given up that conference championship we worked so hard to obtain just so we could play together again. I don’t know how I can leave all of this behind. But I do know one thing: We will never forget those “adults” that voted us down. Was the real reason because of numbers? Was it because we were successful? Or was it simply because they’re afraid of a little competition? We will be back next year, but this time with two teams.

I can’t thank our coach enough. I know it’s not always easy coaching a bunch of girls, but he put up with us every single day. I wouldn’t have traded him for anyone else. He put so much of his time, effort, and dedication into our program to make us one of the best.

Payton Bastian

It doesn’t even seem real. The girls I have played with for the last four years are now going to be on a different team? It’s so frustrating knowing the success we had this past year and now the co-op is shot down by adults. I don’t think I could look any of them in the eye right now if I had to. Shouldn’t we all want what is best for the kids, what they learn and how they have success? Have fun?

The worst part is that the adults are pushing us to react in a negative way. Until you play on a co-op team, I don’t think you could talk for how much it affects your daily life. You all think it’s nothing and it’s just “over,” but it’s not. We might not play on the same team anymore, but we still are a team.

It’s hard as a kid trying to be understandable in any situation. We need good role models to be a good moral person. I don’t think people realize that this affects more than our basketball season. No one will ever know what the right decision was, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It’s hard being the bigger person in any situation and this makes it harder, but not only for me.  As a kid just growing up and realizing the different colors of people is frustrating. I want to be an understanding person, but this is not helping at all.

All we want as a team is an answer to why we are the ones who get put down. Was this decision really made because of numbers? Because Shullsburg will have about 10 girls and Benton will be lucky with 15. Or is it because of the desire we have to want to be number one? All the mornings we are up by 5:30 to lift before school, spending our free time in the gym, playing basketball all summer. We want success and we are willing to work for it. It’s hard not to think that it didn’t pass because of success.

I need someone to tell me why. I have been trying to understand for the past couple weeks and it’s no clearer. Yeah, life goes on, but if they think we won’t want it even more next year, they are wrong. We aren’t here to make friends anymore. We want to win.

Emma Lawrence

Two towns, one team, one dream ... and now for it all to be taken away from us, Why?

They say it’s because of numbers, but the reason as to why we joined four years ago is so the future kids like me could play basketball, and still today as we go our separate ways we will be searching for kids to supply our teams on both sides. In order for programs to succeed you need varsity and JV teams playing, but as of now we will only be fielding a varsity team on the Shullsburg side.

It’s really hard for me to grasp that the girls that I have been playing traveling league basketball with since sixth grade will now be my opponents. It saddens me to know that now that our co-op is done, the younger kids like I once was will not have the chance to play basketball because of how low our class numbers are.

Also, it really bothers me to know that we were the first co-op in 18 years to be voted down and to know that the schools that voted couldn’t even put a name with the decision or a reason. If they couldn’t pass this one what does this mean for any of the future co-ops? Will they be voted down because of numbers or success or was it just us? I guess we just need to know why they wanted to take away our team?

Brianna Leahy

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters The Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.