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November 20, 2013 - Fmr. basketball player critical of coach

With the girl's high school basketball season starting up again, I feel like it is the perfect time to reveal to the people of the community, and parent's of players what happens behind the scenes. As a former player under the current head coach, Steve Emert, I have experienced some of the worst coaching practices, in my opinion.

A coach, especially at the high school level where so much is changing in a student athlete's life, should be a mentor not a bully. They should encourage and push your child, but not to the extent that they come home bawling every day. That is what I witnessed firsthand land year.

Personally, I have played basketball for eleven years, through Oxford parks and Recreation since I was six years-old, Oxford Community Schools since I was eleven and a competitive travel league since I was twelve and I have never had a coach like Mr. Emert.

Since he has taken over the head coaching position, over a dozen players have quit. To some it was a second or third sport. But, for a few girls like myself, it was our one and only sport…our passion.

For as much as I loved basketball, I decided it was time to quit playing for Oxford High School because of the mind games that were played my junior year. He constantly put each player down, everyday and made us feel nearly worthless. From the times he would stop in the middle of practice and just yell for 30 minutes, to the times he would get up close in a player's face and scream.

Mr. Emert was not a role model. He is someone who believes he is always right and if you don't "buy into the program" then you will not be playing. It was not about talent or hard work, but by how much you were willing to give up to be a part of his philosophy.

He came to Oxford wanting to rebuild the program, but in the end tore it down completely. I think there needs to be a major change in the girl's basketball coaching staff if they want to continue to have a program for years to come.

Alicia Vasquez

Oxford High School Senior

Lapeer fire chief appreciates OXFD

At a few minutes before 7 pm on Nov. 12, a fire began that shortly threatened to destroy a large section of historic downtown Lapeer.

While we don't yet know what caused the fire, thanks to the efforts of all of the responders, the fire was contained to the building of origin and to one building on either side. Most importantly, no one was injured as a result of the fire.

The rapid development and size of the fire required us to ask for assistance from seven other fire departments.

Some we work with frequently, but this was the first time any of us can remember that the Oxford Fire Department has responded to the City of Lapeer.

While all firefighters would tell you that they "were just doing their job" and that they are always willing to help another department, we sincerely appreciate the assistance of the Oxford Fire personnel who responded and want to thank each for their efforts.

Without them and the other departments involved, the outcome would have been very different and much more tragic.

While things were a bit chaotic initially, everyone involved worked well together throughout the incident. I can't put into words how much we appreciate everything that all the responders did to help us, and want to pass on the many thanks and praise of a grateful and appreciative fire department and community.

Fire Chief Terry Kluge

City of Lapeer

150 boxes for troops

The American Legion Auxiliary would like to thank the community of Oxford for their support to help make our latest packing party for our troops overseas a huge success.

Thank you to those who donated their Halloween candy, items to fill boxes, monetary donations and to the volunteers who packed the 150 boxes.

We would like to thank Dr. Khoury of the Oxford Smile Center and Saint Joseph School for their collection of all the Halloween candy.

The American Legion Auxiliary are very thankful for C.J. (Carnacchio) and the Oxford Leader.

They got the world out for us and they are very supportive of all our programs to help our military families and our community.

God Bless our Oxford community and God Bless America.

Pat Bliss

American Legion Auxiliary President

Critic of student housing

Where does (Oxford Community School's Superintendent Dr. William) Skilling get the authority to commit us to building housing for the Chinese on Oxford School Property? A vote of the people is needed here. It will be our taxes that pay for it or money taken away from our kid's education. Adding 200 Chinese students to our school district is a lot. Next he will say the school is too small and we need to build a new one. We don't need to be in charge of educating the Chinese. They are already taking over our businesses and our jobs.

Carolyn Boots, Oxford

Editor's Note: The student housing would be for all international students, not just those from China. School officials said the facility would be paid for using private funds, not tax dollars. No vote of the people is legally required for this type of project.

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