We are writing this letter in regards to the recent events concerning Head Football Coach Mike McCabe. Both of us have been players and students of Coach McCabe's over the past four years, and have known him far longer.

Dylan was a varsity receiver, and Brooks was the varsity quarterback, and both of us were named captains during our careers at Forest Grove High School. With this being said, we have both formed an intimate relationship with Coach McCabe, and have grown to respect and love him.

The impact and influence Coach McCabe has on his players and students, goes far beyond any win/loss record, or pass/fail rate. A mere number could never reflect the contribution he has had on all of our lives. He is not merely a coach, or a teacher; but rather a mentor, a father, a friend. He sets an example for all young adults to follow through his compassion, determination and enthusiasm.

Coach McCabe's relationship with his students/players is only one of many aspects, where he shines. To understand his full character one must address a few other attributes he possesses. First of all, Coach McCabe's ability to relate to an immensely diverse population is something that is unheard of throughout our society. He has students of different genders, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. His students have many different upbringings, interests and desires in life. And yet all of these individuals have one thing in common: a shared love and respect of this incredible man.

Another quality of Coach McCabe's that cannot be overlooked or forgotten, is his devotion to Forest Grove High School and the surrounding community. Coach McCabe graduated from Forest Grove High School in 1972, and he has been a part of the Forest Grove community for nearly four decades. During this time, he has dedicated himself to making Forest Grove High School a better place to attend, and Forest Grove a better place to live. He has surely accomplished this goal, and Forest Grove would not be the same without him.

It is also during his time at FGHS that Coach McCabe met his wife, Bonnie McCabe. Bonnie is the head of the drama department at FGHS, and directs nearly every play that is put on at the high school. Bonnie and Mike's impact on the student body of FGHS over the past 30 years is immeasurable. One will not find two individuals more respected or loved by their students and peers. These two faces have come to embody everything that is Forest Grove High School.

To not rehire this man because of the statistics on a piece of paper would embody everything that is wrong with our society today. How can one measure the amount of influence a person has had? There are no statistics to measure the impact a person has had. There are no statistics to measure the bond that is developed, the growth that is experienced, the lives that are touched. There are no statistics to measure love.

Coach McCabe has taught people to display passion, courage and love; this could never be measured by a number.

If you are going to look at a number, look at the 300 signatures of students and staff at FGHS who believe that this high school would not be the same without Coach McCabe. And yet, this is a mere fraction of the lives that would be shattered by the impact of this decision. A mere fraction of the people who would lose a mentor, a father, a friend.

Our question to you is, how can a school and community ever afford to sacrifice that?

Brooks Baumgartner and Dylan Sullivan, seniors, Forest Grove High School

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