Originally sent to Mayor Dave Drotzmann and Hermiston High School principal Tom Spoo:

I visited Hermiston a week ago because my son is now a football coach at La Salle High School and they were playing Hermiston High School in the first round of the 5A state playoffs. I really wanted to acknowledge that even though we lost, I had a very enjoyable time in Hermiston and it truly was because of the kindness of people of Hermiston and the students and the school’s treatment of the visiting team.

From the hotel staff (I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express) to the various retailers I visited to the stadium volunteers to everyone — what a tremendous group of people.

I coached my sons in various sports and even coached at La Salle for a short time while my oldest played there. The sportsmanship and respect displayed by the home team and their fans was a great thing to watch, particularly since we see examples of how not to do that on an almost weekly basis.

In Hermiston (what a beautiful setting for football), I headed to the top row of the visitors section. I was by myself for some time, then suddenly it seemed like 30-plus middle-schoolers (maybe freshman) were all around me. I figured that was their section and avoidance of older kids. Coming from where I live, my first thought was “Great, this might not be fun” surrounded by so many early teens.

I stayed up there for the first half, and in all that time I never heard one cuss word, I was spoken to a few times and addressed as “sir.” While the kids were definite teens they were polite and respectful. Big difference from the big city — I can tell you.

I later had dinner with my son and he told me how nice the school’s staff and volunteers were and how wonderful they treated the La Salle coaches and players. The dinner prepared and served was an incredible touch.

So, this is just my thank you and appreciation for being the town and people you are. In this crazy world we live, you demonstrate the right way to do things.

Good luck this week! I’m rooting for you.

Dennis Kelly


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