I wanted to share a few positive thoughts regarding Coach Rodgers and the Gilbert High football program this season. All too often the media spectacle overshadows an enormous amount of hard work and dedication by these individuals, mostly from volunteers and had Gilbert had a better record, this would not even be a story.
First, my son Stephen Bundy #62 received all-Gilbert honors for both offensive line and defensive end. I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write these kinds of articles and Stephen’s awards were well deserved. He has worked as hard as anyone in the state, has overcome tremendous adversities to become better and actually won Gilbert’s "most improved player" award last season. Stephen, and his mother and I are confident he will be an asset for a program at the next level depending on how the college search plays out.
I give a tremendous amount of credit to Coach Rodgers and his staff for helping my son not only improve in football, but in teaching him to become a leader, a positive role model for his school and his community. In my conversations with these coaches, I have heard nothing but positive thoughts and encouragement regarding Stephen and his fellow students and teammates. Perhaps more importantly is that I have heard many students praise Mr. Rodgers as a teacher.
Certainly coach had made mistakes like anyone in their first year in charge, often as a consequence of his eagerness to excel Gilbert High football. For example, many players were intimidated by his fast start and subsequently quit, he angered some boosters in not appreciating some of their long-standing traditions, and other parents have complained to me regarding his blunt personality. I thought these were issues that would be easily resolved with experience and guidance but I am disappointed that Principal Stroud and Athletic Director Daniel Haasch could not develop young talented coaches in their program. I certainly hope this does not bode the same with developing up-and-coming educators.