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No Benefit to 'Extinction of Tradition,' Former Raider Says

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
Editor's note: The Long Valley Raiders Football Association, an organization that runs the recreation football program for students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade, has discussed potentially changing its colors and name to align with the West Morris Central Wolfpack football program. The LVRFA Board told Patch it is still doing their due diligence on the potential change and have not decided yet if they will send this proposal to their membership to vote.

Dear Editor,

I've been a resident of Long Valley since 1972. In 1974, I  played football for the Long Valley Raiders for the first time. Over the next four years, I played under Coaches Sergent, Slowinski, Mottola and other local dads. These men put their heart and soul into the Long Valley Raiders Football program.

The Long Valley Raiders football program was always separate and apart from the West Morris Central football program, because at the time both Long Valley and Chester sent their children to West Morris Central. Over the years, the Long Valley Raiders have established their own identity and tradition, separate and apart from West Morris Central.  

As a former football player for the Long Valley Raiders and West Morris Central, I feel that there is a distinct difference between the Long Valley Raiders and the Wolfpack. This is a unique experience and unless you have lived it, you would not be able to relate to the pride of being a part of both programs.  

I fail to see the benefit of dismantling a 42 year tradition for the purpose of continuity of name and colors between the rec program and the high school. As a parent, it was with great pride that I watched my son play football for nine years and my daughters cheer for the Raiders. I now cheer on my son as he plays for the Wolfpack.  

I do not know for sure but knowing my former Raiders and Wolfpack coaches, they would not see the benefit of the extinction of a tradition.

Sincerely,
Michael Deo

Letters to the editor can be sent to jason.koestenblatt@patch.com.

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