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White River Valley football supporters will present board with facts, stats

Monday, January 16, 2012

Supporters of starting sanctioned football teams in the White River Valley School District are planning to address the school board Thursday night.

They plan to have plenty of facts, statistics and reasons why now is the time to kick off a program at the school.

Worthington resident Leslie Wilhoite says the WRV Community Football League has proven it can be successful over the years and has averaged about 110 participants (grades K-12) for a number of years.

He contends the school district is directly losing money by not having of football program because a number of students have transferred to neighboring districts like Linton-Stockton, North Daviess, and Owen Valley, which have strong football traditions.

Wilhoite said with state support for each student at about $6,000 per year, even one or two students transferring has a financial impact.

He said seven or eight students have already left to attend North Daviess and a couple have gone to Owen Valley.

One player, Gus Hancock, recently graduated from Owen Valley High School and has received a scholarship to play football at St. Francis College.

"WRV is losing about two (students) a year the last three or four years. We believe that number has held consistent over time," he said.

Supporters say football will help slow that down.

"If that (football) saves two students from transferring out, it pays for itself in less than four years. It pays for the whole program. If it prevents the next two boys from transferring out, then it pays for the program," Wilhoite stated.

He added that he also knows of two high school age students who will transfer to North Daviess next year, if a program is not started at WRV in the fall.

"Football is not going to be a savior for all the financial problems, but it will help ... it's a piece of the puzzle that will help lead to a solution."

Wilhoite says the board will hear that the first year start-up costs will almost all be covered by funds and equipment that will be donated by the Community Football League, or a commitment to raise the needed money in a fundraising effort.

The league already has approved sideline benches, yard markers, goal posts, chain markers, helmets, and shoulder pads.

The major expense will be for a scoreboard and lighting.

Wilhoite said beverage manufacturers like Pepsi and Coke can usually be counted on to donate a scoreboard.

He said the electrical company that serves Switz City will be solicited to donate lighting equipment.

Organizers will also donate their time to operate the concession stand and turn the profits back to the school district in exchange for allowing the lower grade leagues to also be played on the WRV field in Switz City, Wilhoite pledged.

Currently the community league plays its home games at a field located next to White River Valley Worthington Elementary School.

"We have been able to generate a profit where parents are the only spectators. We should be able to do much better here (at the high school)," he said.

Wilhoite said the football program advocates have had their ideas turned back in the past by the school board after questions were raised about finances. This time, the board will hear how the cost to the school district will be minimal.

"We've looked at every avenue and answered every question about costs to make it zero," Wilhoite said.

Wilhoite said league officials have conferred often with school officials from both Eastern Greene and Linton-Stockton to get some idea of what is expected in terms of revenues.

The Eastern School District pays about $3,500 to cover he cost of the insurance rider for its football program, he said.

Wilhoite said WRV will be asked to pay for the head coach's salary with the rest of the staff operating on a volunteer basis.

So far, Wilhoite said reception in private talks with some board members has been mixed.

He said there is interest in the head coaching position from a current WRV staff member.

As proposed, the first two years will be a junior varsity program, then graduating to a varsity-level competition the third year.

Wilhoite said a survey of high school level students taken in the fall showed at least 26 who said they would participate in a program if WRV started one.

"A good target would be 40 to start a program," Wilhoite said. "We think we can easily hit 50. We don't think numbers will be a problem at all."

The public school board meeting will be conducted starting at 7 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. The meeting will be preceded by an executive session at 6 p.m. to discuss personnel.


Comments
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Its about time!!!

-- Posted by theotherside on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 11:52 AM

Geterrrr done

-- Posted by Matt Hockman on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 2:31 PM

What current staff member would be interested in starting a new program? That would be a hefty task.

-- Posted by FootballFan2012 on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 2:58 PM

School systems are having a difficult time with money issues now... cutting programs and laying off teachers........ This is not the time to be asking the school to be spending more money on something like football.. Afterall the reason for school is for learning not a place to come and play sports.. If money was not an object, then maybe start a foot ball team... I read about there being little cost to the school..... but I have heard this before and for a couple kids transferring a yr the cost of a football program would be much more money than what is lost with a few kids tranferring..

-- Posted by areader2 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 9:21 AM

I disagree areader2 the 2 students a year over a 6 year transfer for one year alone the school has already lost 72,000 that is 12,000 each year for the 6 years that they attend a different school that to me is a big loss maybe not to you but I think our school could use the 72,000 I know boy's who transfer in 7th grade so they will be able to play when they are freshman that is where I'v gotten the 6 year span.

Please keep in mind the 6,000 per student isn't going to the sports program it is going to the learning cirriculum. that is what the school looses when they transfer.

-- Posted by elynn66 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 9:51 AM

elynn66 i understand what you say about the money lost bt transfers has nothing to do with sports...... but from all I have read and heard from other schools.. football is very expensive.. In the above article Leslie Wilhoite state about basically little or no cost to the school.. I have a very difficult time believing this who is going to pay the coach . provide the field and pay the up keep.. No doubt if football is started some taxpaper dollars will be used for the program... as well as other sports.. I suggest that if certain people want a football program, let them pay a fee and have their kids pay same should be for all extra activites........ I am sick and tired of my property taxes increasing each yr and being spent on things in schools that for the most part are not taking place in the classrooms.. Sports is somewhat a learning thing but nothing compared to what kids need to learn from the teachers.. if the school districts had an excess of money. and not having to lay off teachers and cut programs, then I wolud not have a problem with expanding sports.. You have to remember most important item for the schools is to educate the kids,, for whatever life holds in store for them... certain much more than a fe football games.. I am not anti sports just want to see my tax money spent in the correct way...........spent on things basically all the students will benefit from.. not just a few who want to play a game..

-- Posted by areader2 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 11:09 AM

Sorry about the typos in my last post I could not get the page back to correct them.. thank you

-- Posted by areader2 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 11:10 AM

Most schools require the players to make a certain grade pt average, which means they are learning as well as being an athlete. I think it is a good thing, activities should be encouraged. too many times when there aren't sports to encourage the students to study the kids sit and play video games and they do not excersize I feel like it would be a win win for the school and the students.

-- Posted by elynn66 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 12:30 PM

So I guess your saying if it didn't cost the school anything for a couple years you're still against it?

-- Posted by Matt Hockman on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 1:12 PM

elynn i am glad you feel so strongly about the program and want the best for the kids---- so with you having these feelings.. maybe the best way to get the program started is for you to make a huge donation to fund it and maybe the school school would be able to recall some of the laid off teachers........

matt if what is being said in the above article, why would it begin to cost the school after the first few years....

I do respect other's opinions and I hope you do mine thank you

I will say this once again SCHOOL IS FOR EDUCATION--- READING, WRITING, MATH, ETC ETC and most school systems are having a difficult time with money just for the basic needs with adding more costs....... they have to live within budgets...... maybe some of you need to talk to the board about the school budget and see how much "extra" money they have I will be watching for you to share with me what they have to say.........

-- Posted by areader2 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 1:24 PM

learning is very important but sports are also important too!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by WRV*fan on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 1:44 PM

Not this again!

quote:

"We've looked at every avenue and answered every question about costs to make it zero," Wilhoite said.

Then...

Wilhoite said WRV will be asked to pay for the head coach's salary with the rest of the staff operating on a volunteer basis.

So we already went from zero to about $5000-$6000 per year to pay for a head coach. Now, who is going to pay to have the field brought up to standard and the maintenance especially after your kids leave? You can't guarentee anything will happen in the future. And you can't just go to the track and throw up some goal posts and play high school football like you do at Worthington. The HS field will have to be completely redone with a slope for drainage etc.

Kids playing at the next level are really few and far between when to take into account the number of athletes, so throw that agrument out. I wouldn't even bring that up in the meeting. The Owen Valley kid probably excelled when it went there and that doesn't mean he would have at WRV. Come on people think! If you any good at all, then you want to get noticed. And with a successful program to the west, you chances are very slim unless you are very, very good and your team is winning! And just because your biddy ball football team is undefeated, means nothing at the high school level.

No board member is going to support this idea. You best spend you time getting the elementary kids to Central and how to provide the best education in the county if you want to survive. Most parents will bring their kids to WRV if the education is better than where they are at. But, there are some parents that will sacrifice a lifetime education for four years of sports.

-- Posted by CROSSWAY on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 2:37 PM

very well said crossway thank you very much

-- Posted by areader2 on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 3:36 PM

areader2, just how much do you know about running a football program? Probably not much from what I'm reading. If you've EVER been to a high school football game you would know that there is a GATE FEE to get into the game. There is a lot revenue generated from the gate fees and concessions during these events. From the small scale of the community football level they have generated enough funds in just a few recent years to help pay for many things to start up a high school program. Try investigating before you speak of something you know nothing, or very little, about. And, like many have already stated, STUDENT athlete's must maintain good grades to be eligible to participate in school sponsored athletic programs. If you really think about it, it's a win-win. Why not bring in a football program & keep the remaining students from possibly transferring out to play at another school? I know that there have been several students from another local school transfer to North Davies for football. WRV is closer than N.D., it's quite possible that if WRV had a school sponsored football program some of these students may have transferred here instead. Just a thought.

-- Posted by Wolverine Mom 3 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 8:48 AM

They don't seem to understand that they are losing student dollars that hire teachers to the other schools! I am completely for it! keep our student dollars here! it is a win win because those students do have to keep their grade avg up above standards.

-- Posted by myopinionmatters on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 9:20 AM

Gate fees will generate revenue, but money will be spent to pay for officials every game. Who is going to pay to keep the lights on at the field? The school. Who will be paying to maintain the field? The school. Who will be paying to bus the kids back and forth to away games? The school.

-- Posted by FootballFan2012 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 9:49 AM

Let's see.....if basketball programs can generate enough funds to pay for themselves, why do you think football couldn't? Basketball has to pay for officials. Basketball has to pay for gym lights and heating the gym. Basketball has to pay for buses to take players to their games. All sports have these expenses. BUT football doesn't have to pay a heating bill, it's all outdoors. More players, more students, and more fans attend football games than basketball. Try talking to Athletic Directors & coaches from football schools, the football programs generate quite a bit more funds than other sports. It will pay for itself.

-- Posted by Wolverine Mom 3 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:09 AM

Who will take on this program? Ideally, you'd want someone who is already within the school system. A football program takes several volunteer coaches who know what they're doing.

-- Posted by FootballFan2012 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:54 AM

Football could very easily generate enough to pay for itself; however, to assure it will immediately generate enough to pay for itself is far-fetched. Eastern's program has grown since it began. Linton's program is huge. The success of any program depends upon how the community will support it.

-- Posted by FootballFan2012 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:59 AM

Who will pay for the facilities? Where will it be? Management of them? Transportation? Salaries? Uniforms? Equipment? Officials? Lights? Certification of equipment each season?

It is a money pit. Right now, people talk of donations and volunteers...what happens in 5 years? When those people are gone?

How many students will transfer do to football hurting the sport they currently play?

26 signed up to play? How many are left after two-a-day practices? How many after losing every game for the first 3 years? (which will happen) And don't give me that "we are JH Champs".

More fans attend football than basketball games? Where? In Indiana? In this area?

I love football. But let's be wise about the choices we are making.

WRV has issues far beyond football. Soon they could be fighting to keep their school open. State funding is being slashed each year. Football is not a savior or even an option. It will add cost - no matter how you twist the numbers.

Clearly those who want football will argue for it. How about build the programs you have? How about put the same time and effort into education? Or saving the school you currently have...for now?

-- Posted by indyzoo11 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 11:14 AM

Nope! There are only 9 games in a football season. So, one year you will play 4 home games and the next year 5 home games. Currently the basketball program plays 12 games at home plus the sectional. This includes the GCI. That is why the basketball program generates revenue. WRV would never host the football sectional.

On the attendance front, your probably right that a few more people would attend you don't know that for sure but there are a lot more football players on a team than basketball players. Of course you're are assuming that a lot of players will play football at WRV although you keep bring up saving a few kids from transferring.

You're looking short term, not long term.. The school board has to look long term 5, 10, 15 years down the road, not just two years when the money runs out and the school is stuck paying for everything.

Now lets look at another thing. Facility upgrades. Paint supplies? Locker rooms? More bleachers? Probably should hire a trainer on staff. An extra bus to away games? Assitant coaches? You say you have some that will volunteer their time. Lets look down the road say 3 years and a new coach from outside is hired. He will hire is own staff and they will want paid. Again the overhead keeps rising. Then new uniforms and equipment down the road. They don't last forever you know. So even if you did make a few bucks, it will be gone when it's time to upgrade everything.

Bottom line ______ bad idea at WRV. The board members might tell you in private they like the idea but in public is a different story.

-- Posted by CROSSWAY on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 11:23 AM

I hope you and Bloomfield get a High School football program!!!

-- Posted by redbird08 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 11:35 AM

From reading the comments I can see that opinions on this are very strong and as far as pro or con I will keep my opinion to myself. However, as someone who spends an above average amount of time at the track I have noticed one cost that may not be calculated in the startup cost.

The WRV facility holds the discus and shotput events inside the track. No school that has a football program does this for the reason that each of these events require a concrete circle that participants throw from. These are located at the west end of the facility in what would potentially be the endzone.

Other schools hold these events outside of the track at designated areas (which is fine and possibly safer at a jr high level) but this would require dirt work as high school boys have the potential to throw over 175ft in the discus and I don't know of any other area at the WRV facility that would provide a flat surface for this event currently.

From comments that some of the kids have made that are part of Worthington football program I know they really enjoy the program but also understand the concern over money.

Good luck to both sides.

Doug Dayhoff

-- Posted by DougDayhoff on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 12:10 PM

In another words...looks like you need to "investigate" a little further before you go in and make a fool of yourselves. Be prepared to be shot down again! Another good point Doug!

-- Posted by CS1980 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 1:14 PM

The main concern here should be money and if you have read the news from the school board meetings you know money is a problem for all schools.. and as some have said on here additional costs that have not been thought of and in a very few yrs the school would be paying for them.. as for gate revenue no way will it make enough money to cover the expenses-- if it does admission would be so costly no one could afford attend Any money spend on classroom items and teachers is something all student benefit from money spent on football will only benefit a very few....... I hope the board will use common sense when addressing this issue it is about the lack of money

-- Posted by areader2 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 1:20 PM

just for my own knowledge Wolverine Mom how much experience have you had running a footballl team..... if you know you should be able to present solid facts and figures to the board......... I never claimed to be an expert about football but I do know when money is an issue and it is in short supply the best thing to do is find ways to cuts costs and save money not try to find ways to spend more.. thank you

-- Posted by areader2 on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 1:25 PM

I see where WRV is getting some transfers in. News about a potential start of a football program travels fast!

A $4 million loan, better start the program soon!

-- Posted by CROSSWAY on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 8:19 AM

Nobody has a crystal ball, but as someone with a deep passion for football and a huge investment in WRV schools...my kids will go to Linton. The deciding factor was football. We bought a house in Linton for that very reason. When my kids play sports at Linton, I am shocked at the amount of WRV/L&M/WJ/Central graduates that send their kids to Linton. I can't speak for all of those parents, but an alarming amount of the ones I have spoken with personally...spoke of opportunities. The opportunity close to the top...FOOTBALL. I don't know if those kids will stay at Linton, but they are WRV grads that chose a rival school.

Schools have been forced to become businesses. Sometimes a business has to invest in something in order to grow. I don't think it is irresponsible to suggest a sport as a means to improve revenue.

With that said, I don't see this going anywhere. I don't know all of the board members views on football, but I'm sure there are a few that are adamantly against it. Eastern had to clean house in order to get football. A political movement will be the only way this passes. These hardworking folks will likely get the run around like the previous groups(this will be at least the 3rd time WRV parents have had meetings about football).

-- Posted by GCC on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 9:29 AM

well to follow the logic of some here, just get rid of all sports programs and use the money to pay for more staff, they can even buy more computers they don't need.

-- Posted by marinedad on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 11:26 AM

I have a passion for all sports. I love any kind of competitive game. My personal favorite as many know, is basketball. I love coaching young children. I enjoy being around young kids and sports. And as a coach I often feel I teach many life lessons along with teaching skills. I feel kids benefit from being involved in sports and being part of a team.

I have had involvement with the WRV football league. It is a fantastic group of dedicated coaches and parents. They run a great program. Not only do these young boys learn important skills but they are having a lot of fun. Coach Dyer and all his coaches try to instill important messages regarding character and good sportsmanship. It doesn't matter that this is the third time the parents have met in front of the board. They aren't giving up and they should keep trying. Each time their arguments and facts get more and more informative and persuasive. Way back when I was a young girl along with my friends and parents and many other girls from all over we fought to have a basketball team. When I was a freshman in 1972 GAA (Girls Athletic Association) was finally established. In the beginning we wore the boys basketball jerseys with a white turtle neck for modesty reasons!!! So the football league should keep fighting.

Should you transfer your child to other school for a sport? I don't know the answer to that. My youngest brother was transferred out of his school in the 8th grade so that he could swim at Columbus North High School. My older brother was the swim coach there. My youngest brother was a decent swimmer and went on to get a swimming scholarship at Eastern Michigan. He has many wonderful memories and had some great experiences but he would be the first to tell you not to transfer your child from his school and friends for a sport. Education and grades should always come first. In our home athletics are secondary to education. Sports are simply a privilege. A privilege that can be taken away when grades or attitudes suffer. It's possible we could have a child that could go on to play athletics at the college level. But it will be their education that will carry them thru life. Not how baskets they scored as a 7th grader or how many touch downs they scored as a freshman.

Our school communities have so many intelligent and delightful children. We have many great families with involved parents. I applaud the efforts of the WRV football league. It shows their dedication to young people in our community. I believe the administration recognizes that. And I think if they can they will find a way. Nobody wants to deny our children of a good thing whether its new computers or laptops or a sports program. Financial woes have been a serious issue for families, businesses and schools. These are tough economic times.

-- Posted by Claire Cabel Records on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 12:21 PM

Football generates money period. It also can keep kids in school who otherwise might not graduate. I am just in awe at how so many people want to bash and stop people from doing something good for their children and community. I say more power to anyone who wants to make WRV better. Football will do that.

areareader- Football is one of the best character builders-a life long lesson- It's the only game where you get knocked down every play and are expected to get back up and do it all over again. GO WRV FOOTBALL!!!

-- Posted by mississinewa on Mon, Jan 23, 2012, at 10:32 AM

I coached at an area school for several years. I do think the figures to start the program are off a bit, but fully support the idea. Getting the field ready will be quite the task. We used inmate labor for many things and is an option. Concerning the income generated.....Income is generated with winnning programs. When we had losing seasons, we were hard hit at the gate. When we had winning seasons, we easily brought in 10-15k per home game. I wish you luck.

-- Posted by elgrande on Mon, Jan 23, 2012, at 11:20 AM

A solution to solve a few problems within the WRV and some of the other area school as far as money. Sorry to say, but sports are very valuable to a lot of students. Sometimes sports bring out the best in some students and make them try harder to make their grades. Sports can also keep a lot of students out of trouble, and give them a safe haven after school, and you can't put a price tag on that. Sports can teach a lot of life lessons that the classroom can't such as discipline and team work.

If the counties would get wise and get rid of all the extra superintendents they would save so much revenue. Look at the large surrounding counties and see how many superintendents they have. It makes no sense for Greene County to have the number we have for the size of our area schools. Having 2 superintendents at the most should be able to provide top quality services throughout the county. Without being top heavy maybe we could have a county football team and share in the expenses and the income. Maybe if you would name the field after someone they might change their mind.

-- Posted by WRVGRANNY on Tue, Jan 24, 2012, at 2:55 PM

The IHSAA doesn't allow for school conglomerate football teams like Illinois. The only way we could have a county team would be to consolidate the actual schools into one.

As for the issue of supers, school money is not split like that. There are separate funds for athletics and the general fund. The savings couldn't be used for equipment. It might be used on insurance or coaching salaries.

-- Posted by GCC on Wed, Jan 25, 2012, at 10:10 AM

I will say from experience as I teach at a Daviess county school with football. The football program never makes money. It is by no means self supporting, and it has been around for years.

-- Posted by outsider1 on Wed, Jan 25, 2012, at 1:05 PM

WRV has averaged a loss of 18 students/yr. which translates to an annual loss of state funding a little over $110,000 each year. Compounded over a ten year period, this decline has cost the WRV district over $13,000,000. Mr. Wall & several school board members have agreed that a football program will save students. If on average a football program only save 1 student a year and attracted only 1 student a year, WRV would have a GAIN of over $12,000 each year. Compounded for the same ten year period would produce $1,260,000 for the WRV School district. That's a 10% increase in state funding by adding just 1 program.

The WRV Community Youth Football League has offered to assist our school to offset the initial costs that all start up football programs experience. Not with general numbers and blanket statements but with true hard figures, willing volunteer manpower, experienced fundraising, established community involvement, IHSAA certified equipment and a checkbook.

With a current K-12 enrollment of 803 and assuming a near 50/50 male/female student body, the community league already has 25% of the male WRV students on its rosters by having an average of 110 players from K-12. with an additional 2% of students and homeschoolers from surrounding communities that travel to WRV to play football.

Commenters are correct when they say that football programs do not often show a profit and when they do it is minimal, and they are also correct about the cost when you look at other start up programs. The reason they are completely mistaken about WRV's cost in starting a program is because the taxpayer's have already built an IHSAA facility complete with spectator stands, press box and a PA system. The cost is extremely cheaper than most start up programs.

A football program is not THE answer for WRV and the issues that it faces, but there is never just one answer to any problem. It is a piece of the puzzle however. Even aside from the enrollment and state funding issue...if our tax payers are paying for an IHSAA facility, over 100 players and their families in our school want to play on the WRV High School Football team and you have over 100 players and their families offering to assist with offsetting the start up costs, Starting a football program cannot be anything but a good thing for our kids and our school system.

If you would like to join to assist our cause or to have civil discussion over your concerns, please contact us.

812-325-3254

Thank you!

Curt Wilhoite

-- Posted by LCWilhoite on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 11:55 AM

football when run by knowledgeable coaches is a good sport. like all school programs it costs money. will it pay for itself? no. eastern started football and made some early mistakes. it now has a good staff and the kids are getting something positive out of it. starting a new program in a time when public schools are under attack and funding is being cut will be tough.

-- Posted by thunderoad on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 10:06 PM

A few things that a running in my head...

-Basketball has caused more problems for WRV than football ever has. Look at the other boys sports. They all struggle in its wake. Track is the only sport to be relevant and it isn't because of school or community support.

-It will take more than figures and money to get football. I admire those folks working hard to get football, but call a few Eastern folks and ask them what money and figures got them initially. It will take a political movement.

-Speaking of Eastern. Find a good head coach...then get out of his way. With all the hardwork these WRV folks will put in...it could make them believe they should be running the program. They shouldn't! Grades 7-12 should be in the hands of a capable varsity and JH staff.

-Good luck....because the fight has only begun.

-- Posted by GCC on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 10:01 AM


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