To the Times of Ti:
There are many more important issues we face today then the one I’m writing about. This issue however is important to a group of kids and a coach who have been together for many years.
The coach, Dana Shaughnessy (my brother), has been involved with these kids since grade school sports. He has been coach of the Schroon (Lake Central School) varsity boys basketball team for several years. I’m not sure how many titles have been won, but I do know that they have been at the top or near every year. I do know he is well respected by most, including other coaches, referees, parents and players (past and present).
Coach Shaughnessy has put in countless hours during the season and over the summers with AAU basketball. He spent a lot of the summer trucking kids all over the North Country even before his kids were old enough! Over the years he helped push kids to do well in school and stay out of trouble. Several past players, I witnessed, still stay in contact with him. He has been a major help to establish Schroon Lakes as a basketball powerhouse for past, present and future years! Schroon’s team this year is expected to be one of the best ever.
There has always been the threat of Coach Shaughnessy (not a teacher) losing his job to a teacher. A couple of years ago, Schroon got a new physical education teacher, Mr. (Lee) Silvernail, most recently girls varsity basketball coach. Over the years (Silvernail) has repeatedly assured people, including players, Coach Shaughnessy and Mrs. (Mary Lou) Shaughnessy, who happens to be the school athletic director, that he would not take boys varsity over.
Just a month ago he told students he would not interfere. Then days later he put in his application to the board assuring himself the position.
I truly hope that Mr. Silvernail isn’t abandoning the girls because they have become a rebuilding team and taking over the boys because the sky’s the limit for them. It can’t be salaries because they are the same.
I hope that Mr. Silvernail wasn’t influenced by a board member who may have suggested he take over the team because her child (just moving up) and herself may not like coach Shaughnessy. Also Silvernail may have been reminded that he is new and tenure is coming down the road.
Whatever the reason it’s caused a major disruption to a team that, up until several weeks ago, couldn’t wait for the season to start.
Coach Shaughnessy and his team have worked so hard to get to this point. They have paid their dues and deserve to continue without this chaos. Mr. Silvernail, with all due respect, if you wish to abandon the girls team and take over the boys then do it right! Coach the boys JV, get to know them as basketball players and persons, grow with them. Don’t change something that isn’t broken or wants change. You will be a better person and will have much more satisfaction with results if you start from the beginning.
Michael Shaughnessy Jr., Schroon Lake