Tough football team shows big hearts


To the Editor:
Sometimes a person just has to call out people for their behavior so here I go…
The Snohomish Panther Football team, yep, the entire team, is a gift to our community and especially to my family. My husband, Craig, has been an assistant coach for many years. Even when it is a “building year” he loves this team, year in and year out. He is tough on them, but they try hard, and they work hard. I love that.
They are also what I like to refer to as “big, stinky kids” and I mean that with all my love. What I am talking about is the immense kindness and accepting nature they show toward our daughter, Sara. Sara is 27, has Williams Syndrome and often goes to practice with Craig. She has a range of challenges including but not limited to mental retardation, anxiety issues and some physical limitations. The Panthers treat her as if she was a princess, as if she was their favorite little sister. It has brought me to tears more than once.
Imagine you are looking at this giant, growling, fierce football lineman on the field and that same tough guy is listening to Sara tell him about her two kittens and our dog with, honest, rapt attention. They are all so sweet, so kind, and again, so accepting of a person with a serious lifelong disability. I will also add the entire coaching staff, starting with Coach Hammer, to my praise, along with all of the parents who truly care about helping build men and women of value.  We are blessed. Go Panthers! 


Dana Sue Smith