Writing was on the wall
Sports Editor Can’t say I was shocked at the news that Jim Vieland turned in his resignation as Ephrata football coach last week, but I am saddened just the same.
In recent weeks, Vieland was carrying the heavy weight of his fourth-straight losing season and it was obvious that it was too much to bear. Something just told me it was finally enough, even though Vieland never once verbalized it.
You could see it in his face, in his body language…It was a tough thing to see him go through week after painstaking week. Even after the Mounts finally did win a game in Week Nine with their amazing second-half rally at Cedar Crest, I could just tell that he had had enough.
Certainly, he takes his share of the blame for what was a dismal four years in the win/loss column (5-35), as he well should. He pushed plenty of buttons and tried just about everything to right the ship but to no avail.
I do also know he worked extremely hard and was well-liked by a majority of his players, parents and the media types who covered his teams. He certainly was always available to me, no matter how many times I know he dreaded re-hashing a tough loss.
Bottom line is he’s a downright good guy, and I hope he enjoys his time with his family now that he’ll be away from the Friday night lights for at least awhile. He deserves it.
Now, as we turn the page and Ephrata finds itself in the same position it was four years ago, it is crucial to get it right with this new hire.
But by the same token, no matter who eventually is selected to guide the team, it is equally important that everyone buys in this time, from the school administration to the players, media, and perhaps most importantly, the community.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure Vieland had that full commitment from any of the above since Day One. I say that in a general sense because I know there were individuals on every one of those levels who did lay it on the line for the coach and the program.
There just weren’t enough of them.
For every person that was in Vieland’s corner, there were equally as many and probably more still upset that Jim Cantafio was winning a heck of a lot of football games at Cedar Cliff instead of here.
We really do owe it to the new coach and players, and we owe it to ourselves to get behind the program instead of finding every reason in the world to bash it.
That has been the simple blueprint to what has gone on in Manheim as well as Denver over the past decade or so. We can do that here too. Ephrata is no different than either of those two communities.
Trust me, we do that, and in due time, Ephrata can and will win again. More RUTH, page B-6