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Remembering an outgoing Springville football coach

My letter today is a letter of thanks, in response to a letter printed in the Sept. 1, 2012 Journal. I would like to start by saying that I was a Springville cheerleader for 13 years, starting with the SLLF and all the way up through high school. My mother was a SLLF Colts cheerleading coach for 16 years. The SLLF program was a great program for kids to learn, make friends and, above all, have fun.

I was deeply saddened by the letter from Coach Runyan. In my years with the SLLF, I got to know Coach Runyan well. He was a respected and honorable coach. He was fair, honest and dedicated to his players. I can still remember the first time a girl wanted to play football. Not many other coaches would have given her a chance, but Coach Runyan did. He taught her what she needed to know to be the best football player she could be. And she played every game. Coach Runyan was not a coach who made kids sit the bench because they weren’t the best players. He let every kid play because he believed in his players, even if it meant him not winning a game.

I was very upset to hear that some people would accuse Coach Runyan of the things stated in his Sept. 1, 2012 letter. To think that a man who gave 20-plus years of his life to this league would be treated in such a way disgusted me. Coach Runyan not only was respected by his players, but also by other coaches in the league. The SLLF program is supposed to be about the kids and, in my opinion, Coach Runyan always had the kids as his first priority.

I would like to end this letter by saying thank you to Coach Dan Runyan Sr. Thank you for all the years you gave to the children in this community. I know that I am only one of hundreds, if not thousands, of children who will always be thankful and honored to call you our coach. You will be remembered for all the things you did for the SLLF organization and its players. This is a man that we, as a community, should be proud of and thankful for, for all the years he gave to our children. Thank you, Coach Runyan, for all the memories!

Paula Ciszak
Former SLLF cheerleader

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