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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions May 25, 2016

7/17/2014 2:56:00 PM
Letter: Do we really need to send high school athletes to California football camp?


What are we paying for, Couch Young and MUHS Administrators? Property taxes primarily support our schools. MUHS was considering and "override" on your tax bill this year, as it did last year. With property taxes rising and the economy tanking, please tell us why the district is sending the NUHS football team to Irvine, California, for a team camp, from July 17 through 22.

Please explain to us poor tax payers who pay the bills why such a camp is necessary. Please explain why it is necessary to send an entire team and their equipment nearly 700 miles, house them board them, pay for transportation and likely for the use of the field, when we poor taxpayers can barely afford to travel a hundred miles or less.

Please explain why the local field is insufficient - you do play home games on it during the football season don't you? The whole idea seems ridiculously extravagant and wasteful of taxpayer money. And, if paid for by parents and others, why don't they just contribute the cost to the school district so the money can be used for educational purposes instead of such foolishness?

Please note: this is a High School football team, not the Arizona Cardinals nor ASU nor NAU! The colleges don't have out-of state football camps and the Cardinals go to Flagstaff!

Please, Coach Young and MUHS Administration officials, explain to us poor taxpayers why such an extravagance is necessary or even desirable. Perhaps you might convince a few poor taxpayers to agree with you. And, what do you say, other taxpayers? Express your opinion!

George Edgley


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: @ i keep reading .

Actually Mingus football has had several young ladies participate in the last several years.

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Article comment by: I keep reading how football helps Young men

Yet what program helps turn girls into young women that is offered through the Mingus? Something is askew here.

Any extracurricular money should be assigned to each student equally rather than handing it over to sports. That way everyone gets an equal opportunity to participate in their chosen activity. Wanna be a football player, then pick football. Want to take a cooking class, then sign up for one. That way everyone gets to learn what is offered now only to a chosen few.

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ Myra Gold
Re: "Investing in our future should never be debated."
If a trip to California motivates your children to work harder to be well-educated, productive, ethical adults and you and they can scrape up the price of admission, I say more power to you. And I'll fiercely debate anyone who suggests you should turn that $350 per head over to Mingus to buy more IT equipment. But by the same token, you should defend my right to vote against a Capital Override that Kirk Waddle absolutely won't need to balance the 2015-2016 budget, will add nearly $600,000 to MUHS's assessed value, and thus will exponentially increase my property taxes in perpetuity.

IMHO, anyone who doesn't debate an investment's effects on the future, at least in one's own head, is--at best--fiscally naive.

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Article comment by: Allison Smith

As a member of this community I am happy to see all of the programs that are offered to our youth. We all need to support and encourage these programs, not rant about them. Mr. Edgley you obviously did not do your homework. As a mother I have always moved mountains so my kids never missed an opportunity. Just because you choose to let your child miss out does not mean that you should be bitter and hateful to those that choose to support their children. Also there are MANY programs out there to help needed families, you just need to get out there and fill out the proper paperwork to receive the help.
To the Mingus football program. Hold your heads high you are a great group of young men and I for one am proud to support your program in ANY way that I can!!!.

Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Article comment by: Uther Takspaier

Defenders of this program who focus on the speculated taxpayer funding apparently have a reading comprehension deficit.

Mr. Edgley wrote that it "seems...wasteful of taxpayer money." If MUHS buses take the players to Phoenix then he has a valid point.

Mr. Edgley also wrote: "And, if paid for by parents and others, why don't they just contribute the cost to the school district so the money can be used for educational purposes instead of such foolishness?" So he did not unequivocally say that tax dollars were being used.

That said, a bit of research could have avoided a predictable response that muddied the debatable point of his letter. Thanks to Thrifty Codger for cutting through the flack.

Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Article comment by: Myra Gold

At the end of the day we should be responsible for the success of our youth. As contributing members of society they will fund our social security and Medicare. My son was in the marching band and today he's earning his MS. Investing in our future should never be debated. The future belongs to all of us.

Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Article comment by: Good job, George Edgley

You not only got the Red Dot Boosters attention, you flushed them out into the open where more people can see where their priorities really lie. These are the same folks that, back when Mingus was really hurting for cash, had to have spanking new football facilities and had to be bludgeoned to spare a few crumbs for the track. But use those facilities to give more kids around here a chance at a summer football camp and generate some extra income for Mingus? Noooo. Their kids need a change of scenery, not that the scenery around Irvine holds a candle to the view from MUHS. Glad someone called them on it. Thank you for taking the flack. -- Thrifty Old Codger

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: Andrea Clark

Mr. Edgley,
You have your right to your opinion, however you should have gathered the correct facts before writing your offensive letter. Our boys work hard all year as student athletes, in the classroom, on the field, and they volunteer in our community. Our boys look forward to Cali Camp and they deserve to attend. Cali Camp is more then working on their football skills, it is allowing our boys to build team unity, and make memories they will cherish their entire lives whether they win championships or not. Education is more than what you learn in the classroom. As a parent who also pays my share of taxes, I believe our sons deserve this experience. I strongly believe that any experience that will help our children grow is worth our taxes. However, as you should know by now tax payer money was not used for Cali Camp.

Coach Young and his coaching staff are great role models for our sons. Our sons are fortunate to have Coach Young in their lives. He dedicates his time to them on and off the field. Coach Young goes above and beyond his required coaching duties. I know this first hand as my brothers, nephews, and now my son have gone through Mingus Football, and many of them have been coached by Coach Young. They all will tell you that they learned more than just football, they learned valuable life lessons they carry with them everyday respect, dedication, team work, accountability, and leadership to name a few.

A big thank you to Coach Young, his coaching staff, Red Dot Club, Marauder Club, our families and volunteers for caring about our boys!

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: Joshua Fradette

@ George Edgley,

By reading your post you appear to be very upset about these fine young men that represent our community as well as our future going to football camp. You should be aware that making such a rant only provides us a perception that you have not done your homework about the topic in which you are so passionate about however you are missing one key factor. The money spent on Cali-Camp for my child came from my pocket NOT yours so there is no tax payerís expense. Most of these football players that attend this camp are seniors that are preparing for and competing for scholarships in college and this camp assists them in their endeavors. Also during camp the students get to enjoy free time at the beach and get to attend Knots Berry Farm so in essence it is also a mini vacation for the students as well. You sir, really have nothing to rant about since each studentís parents have to pay for this trip and since we have so much more to worry about in this world than why students from MUHS are practicing football and hanging out on the beach during their summer break and getting to go to a theme park that they normally donít have access to here in the Verde Valley. I for one completely support the MUHS Marauders as my son Austin is on the football team in his senior year and wish them the best season they have had in a long time. Go Marauders!!!

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: @ Lets Look

Choosing not to allow your child to attend the Utah Shakespeare trip is your choice. If I had a Freshman or Sophomore with that opportunity, you bet I'd let them go.
As to funding, and a complaint at the end of your comment concerning "free" education. Free education means all can attend, as in we don't keep certain races out or only allow English speakers in. Free education does NOT mean it doesn't cost anything!
Like so many other youth, perhaps your child could have made money baby sitting or cutting grass or a million small ways to help pay for the small amount of fees required to start school. For most, these fees are $100 or less. If your child takes an active role in paying those fees perhaps your child will be more involved in his/her educational success. Obviously, your child is smart enough for AP English.

Lacking money at the moment does not give you the right to denigrate programs that really enrich our students and our community. You can withhold great life experiences from your own children, like Utah, but don't bad mouth all of the other folks who truly see the value in all of these trips. Life is not lived in one building or in one room. As most of the commenters have said, Let them grow wings and fly!!! Lu Parker

Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2014
Article comment by: lynette prouty

I also believe that the Verde Independent owes these athletes and their parents and coaches an apology for allowing such misinformation to be published. I would love to see an article about the great summer programs available in the Verde Valley including Mingus football. It would also be nice to thank all the coaches sho give their time without pay instead of always being negative about these programs. It is really sad when people who have such strong opinions do not verify their facts before writing such negative comments.

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: uncommon sense uncommon sence

Better than sending them to rehab.

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Tom Nunya

Mr. Edgely,
Let me tell you something as a MUHS alumni and a Member of the Football team these Camps Are for a lot of us a once in a lifetime experience. Not only did I learn many things about Football, but I learned many things about myself. I learned how to be a man and have self confidence, I learned what it meant to work my tail end off in order to come up with the cash to go and pay in full out of my own pocket. I know some of my teammates got to see the ocean for the first time, I got to see how life existed outside of my little home town. A lot of the stuff I learned in these Camps I have applied in my Daily life. I'm a Marine Corps Veteran, I am a successful Manager of a multi million dollar Aviation Maintenance Company. I am a tax paying citizen that gives back to the organization that helped form the man that I am today.

Booster Clubs, Parents, and students like once myself foot the bill and not even think twice about it. Shame on you sir for making claims that are false and not even thinking how your comments can change the view of a teenage boy about how his own community may or may not support him in what he does. Have fun boys and cherish this life experience and don't look back. You earned it. Go Marauders!

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Bradley Dixon

Dear Mr. Edgley,

I find it very disheartening to read an article that so inaccurately and unjustly attacks a program that has helped to raise young men for the past 30 plus years. I graduated from Mingus Union High School in 2008, and the football program taught me more about life then any class or counselor ever could. My father, Neil Dixon, has coached for Mingus for over 30 years and has volunteered more time with these kids then you or I ever could. This football program is not just a bunch of jocks being supported by "poor" people such as ourselves. The coaches in this program are grossly underpaid for the amount of time they put into raising these young men. My father has personally donated more than just time to this program, he has provided employment to several of these kids so that they could afford to pay their own way to camps such as this one. As a matter of fact in recent years coaches have had to reach into their own pockets, which for the most part are just as empty as our own, to help pay for the players transportation as well as equipment. I have personally been involved with the Mingus football program for ten years, and can attest to the hard work that the coaches and players alike put in. This program is much more than just a "football program" having fun off of your hard earned "tax money". Not that it is any of your business what this football program does in California, since you were obviously never involved with such a program, but I will give you a very brief description nonetheless. The coaches donate a week of their time, unpaid, to take these kids, not theirs, to a camp in California in order to teach these kids to have a great work ethic.

Posted: Friday, July 18, 2014
Article comment by: Let's Look

If we look at what was asked in the letter two main things were asked. 1. Why is tax money paying for this and 2. Why are they going.

I gather from the majority of comments here that tax money does not pay for them to go to this camp. I beg to differ to a point. It was stated that MUHS buses take the players to Phoenix to catch a bigger bus to transport. It was also stated that tax money pays to replace old buses. So therefore, tax money is being spent for this program.

Next, I only found one comment that stated why these players go and that was from Chris Rice. I do feel that they can benefit by learning some life experience's.

My question is why does this have to be out of state for the freshman and sophmores. I personally would not send my child that age to go out of state even if I could afford it. I really do not feel they are at an age of maturity needed for this life experience. I feel that junior and seniors would benefit from it more. (But that is just my opinion.)

I have a child in the AP English class that will NOT be going to Utah. #1 I will not let them out of state. #2 I can not afford it. I can not even afford to pay for the books and other stuff that IS needed for just everyday school. There needs to be a program at the school that those who are low income and/or qualify for certain programs then fees should be waived for them to attend school. Why should we have to pay for a free education for our children? Maybe there needs to be a booster club for that.

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