Ryan Summerlin November 13, 2012
To the Editor:
What an amazing week. Being new to Grand County, I have come to appreciate the warmth and acceptance of the valley. This past week demonstrated to me a whole new level of appreciation for the people of our community.
As principal of MIddle Park High School, I wear many different hats at many different times. Last week was one of those weeks where my hats changed often, but the constant was the enthusiasm and support of the community.
To recap the week, our student athletes were just winding down from the State cross-country meet that saw our girls team qualify for and finish in 7th place and four of our athletes were very competitive against the state’s best. Our girls volleyball team was narrowly nudged out during State tournament play, while our varsity football team was victorious in the first round for the State playoffs.
That victory moved the Panthers into the Elite 8 and created an opportunity for Middle Park High School to host the second round of 2A football playoffs. As best as I have been able to gather, this has not happened in nearly 20 years.
This set the stage for some fast-paced planning. The Gridiron club met with Todd Bittner, athletic director, and myself and by last Monday morning the community was in full swing to show their support of our athletes. The local businesses had their windows painted with Panther Pride logos and many community members joined in the fun of making signs, painting footprints on the street, hanging posters and the like. And the Gridiron club arranged for donations of tents and heaters.
The High School hosted a pep assembly last Thursday to celebrate not only our student athletes but acknowledge the academic success of all students. The student participation and positive energy could be felt in the building all week.
The final score of the football game did not turn out in our favor but it was an amazing contest. Mountain Parks Electric continued showing their community support by hosting the “5th Quarter,” which is always very well attended. There were so many more people and things that took place that helped to create an exciting atmosphere for the entire week that I am sure I have missed mentioning someone.
The community pride in our student-athletes and our school is overwhelming. Mr. Bittner and I want to extend our greatest appreciation and gratitude to everyone for their efforts and support.
Middle Park High School