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Ousted Chambersburg basketball coach's fans hold rally

Shawn Shreffler's supporters are turning to social media, shirts, yard signs and possibly newspaper advertisements

May 03, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Former longtime Chambersburg (Pa.) Area Senior High School boys basketball coach Shawn Shreffler, center, talks to some supporters Thursday night during a rally on Shreffler's behalf at the Fuddrucker's restaurant in Chambersburg.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Youths and adults upset about Chambersburg’s head basketball coach being ousted from his job last week have formed a new team — Team Shreffler.

On Thursday, they donned blue and green shirts proclaiming “#TeamShreff” during a rally to generate support for Shawn Shreffler.

The Chambersburg Area School Board chose to not reinstate Shreffler for the 2012-13 season, in part because of alleged use of profanity around students.

Supporters are turning to social media, shirts, yard signs and possibly newspaper advertisements in a quest to have the school board reverse its decision.

Former high school and college basketball player Danley Shank graduated from Chambersburg Area Senior High School in 2002 and helped to organize the rally outside Fuddruckers off Walker Road.

He attended the school board meeting where — in his view — public comments backing Shreffler outnumbered the ones favoring his dismissal.

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“It felt to me like (the school board members’) minds were made up in that situation,” he said, noting that the board did not seem to absorb the comments it was hearing.

Shreffler, a fifth-grade math teacher, was involved with the high school program for 19 years, with the last 15 spent as head coach.

“I love coaching. I love all the kids I coach,” he said. “If given the opportunity to coach again, I absolutely would.”

Shreffler would not address the board’s actions, but said he hardly slept that night after texting players to thank them for their efforts during the season. The Trojans played in the District 3, Class AAAA championship this year.

Shreffler said he is “very overwhelmed” by the support and the feedback from former players who say he taught them life lessons.

“I’ve gotten a lot of those (comments) recently. ... It makes you feel really good you had such a positive impact on someone’s life,” Shreffler said.

Quinn Oyler, an 18-year-old senior, played basketball under Shreffler not only in high school, but in summer camps taught by the coach. Oyler said he attended the rally to “stand up for what’s right.”

Every athlete has occasional gripes with his or her coach, but that is just part of being a team, Oyler said. Basketball players started hearing rumors during the playing season that Shreffler could be dismissed, he said.

“We definitely weren’t ready for him to be fired. ... I think it’s all ridiculous. I don’t know what they’re trying to do,” Oyler said.

“I don’t think (school board members) have been around enough basketball programs and coaches like I have,” Shank said, saying Shreffler actually deserves to be honored.

Parent Terry Graham claimed the majority of school board members never met Shreffler personally. She wants the administrators and school board members to know the support is not going away.

A phone message left at the home of school board President Norman Blowers was not immediately returned Thursday night.

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