Letter: Huge Loss to High School Football

To the Editor:

When I picked up the Nov. 17 Valley News, a front-page reference to a story in the sports section jumped out at me: “Woodstock’s McLaughlin Leaves Football Legacy.”

Slowly a knowing smile spread over my face, followed by a bitter lump in my throat. One of the greatest football coaches I have ever known combined with one of the finest human beings I have ever encountered will no longer be prowling the sidelines on those crisp autumn Friday nights. From a very personal and selfish point of view, I will miss that terribly, as will the Vermont high school football community. “Mac” will no longer be seen in full stride up and down those sidelines, growling at his players one moment while patting them on the back the next. When victory finally was in sight, the intense Mr. McLaughlin would break into a smile that lit up the field.

As a sports writer, I covered Mac’s career for over three decades and came to know him as a friend and a truly brilliant football mind. He coached our son Jeff in the Shrine Game, and that is a memory we will cherish forever.

God bless you, my friend. Enjoy your new status in life. Oh, yes: Thank you for the nickname of “Admiral Nelson.” I won’t forget.

David E. Nelson