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Sports letters

Sports letters

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Upset with coach's comments about crowd

We feel compelled to respond to the comments made by head coach Mike Aikens of the Billings Bulls in the March 17, 2005, issue of The Billings Gazette.

We happen to be two of the loyal 800 fans who have come out to support the Bulls every home game. To blame the lack of fan support for the team's loss last Wednesday night is disappointing. The coach's comments implied that if there were more fans at the game, then the team would have won.

A game this important should not require outside motivation. It is our recollection that the three games this season with the best attendance ended in losses. We would have to assume attendance has very little to do with the outcome of the game.

I think it is about time head coach Aikens looked in the mirror and realized he needs to take responsibility for the team's wins as well as their losses.

By the way, best of luck to the Bulls in the playoffs!

Dave and Kim Raynor Billings

Bulls getting unfair treatment from Metra

I am questioning the scheduling of the Billings Bulls hockey games.

Until recently I was under the impression that game dates were set by the hockey board. However, I now understand that the Metra dictates when we can play hockey in Billings.

Wednesday and Sunday games are not profitable for the Bulls or the Metra. The Bulls have been told they have to give up dates for the new basketball team in Billings. Why, may I ask, is an organization that has yet to prove itself being given priority to an organization that has been here 13 years?

The board assumes they will get better support for the basketball team, and they might, as long as the team does not have to play Wednesday and Sunday nights. Billings Bulls hockey is a family sport, and Wednesday and Sunday games exclude many church members from attending games on church nights.

The Bulls are the laughing stock of the league. We play in a beautiful building and we have the worst dates and worst ice in the league. We pay for upkeep and cleaning and there is a petrified glob of ice cream on the floor in front of my seat that has been there since January. The Zamboni drivers change every night and no one knows for sure how to operate the machine. Is this the way the Metra treats all customers or just the Bulls?

Donna Davis Billings

Congratulations to Central girls team

Congratulations to Bucky Heringer and the Billings Central Rams on their very exciting and successful girls basketball season.

If these players approach the future with that same enthusiasm and dedication that they exhibited in the games I saw them participate in, they will surely be champions in the game of life.

Being a long time Hardin Bulldog fan, I cannot say that I was always cheering for the Lady Rams but I certainly admired the competitive spirit they exhibited. Thanks for the enjoyment I received while watching you.

Luke Gerber Hardin

Impressive stats for prep hoops players

Going through the Class B and C tournament statistics in The Gazette, a couple came to my attention that I thought deserved special recognition.

The first was Class B Florence's boys free throw shooting against Columbus. According to The Gazette, they averaged 93 percent on 29 out of 32. To do this their four top scorers made 27 out of 27 for 100 percent. Who can coach that kind of shooting?

Just as remarkable was the local Reed Point-Rapelje girls going through the state championship game with only three turnovers. I've seen major colleges on TV with that many unforced turnovers in just three or four trips down the floor.

To prove this feat was not lucky or a fluke, the sure-handed Reed Point-Rapelje girls went through the tournament, three games, with a total of 10 turnovers. Most coaches would be happy if their team made no more than that per game.

Ted Keating Molt

Glad to see State AA tourney at Metra

Congratulations go to the Billings West girls for their third straight Class AA basketball championship, a feat very few teams attain. Likewise, Missoula Hellgate's boys came through with the boys trophy.

Another gusto is the fact that the city fathers, school district and the Metra administration got their heads together and made it possible for the Class AA Tournament to be staged in one of the few excellent facilities in the state of Montana that is able to totally handle fans and traffic of the magnitude that a sports event brings to a city.

It has been some time now that a tournament has been staged at MetraPark Arena, so it was great to be in the crowd that attended this important event. All I can add is that hopefully this venture continues and that basketball returns to a facility that can handle the load with convenience for the fans and participants.

Frank Tonkovich Billings


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