Back in March, I wrote a column about an unfortunate situation which resulted in two Keyser High School athletes being denied their varsity letters because they decided to speak out against what they felt was an injustice.

By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
Back in March, I wrote a column about an unfortunate situation which resulted in two Keyser High School athletes being denied their varsity letters because they decided to speak out against what they felt was an injustice.
Without getting into too much detail and dredging up something which hopefully has been laid to rest, I’ll just say their cross country coach was suspended based on accusations which school officials later decided were unfounded.
The suspension was abrupt, and in the middle of the cross country season, and created havoc within the program.
So three young men went to the Mineral County Board of Education to ask them to reconsider and let their coach continue her job as they prepared for the state finals.
The board backed the suspension, however, and as a result, two of the young men - Darius Redman and Dakota Virts - decided to sit out the state meet in protest.
The third young man chose to participate in the state meet, as was his right to do so.
Both Darius and Dakota made it clear, however, that they were not quitting the team … merely exercising their right to protest.
Some of the administrators did not see it that way, however, and therefore refused to award the young men their K’s - their varsity letters - because they “quit the team.”
In my column, I spoke about how unfair the censure seemed, especially since the two were doing what their coach, teachers, and undoubtedly their parents, had taught them to do - stand up for what they believe is right.
I appealed to “the principal, the athletic director, superintendent, or whoever it takes” to reconsider and award Darius and Dakota their K’s.
Well it might have taken some time, but I can now tell you both young men have been awarded their varsity letters!
I would like to give a big shout out to KHS principal Lois Spencer and cross country coach Tammy Hart-Smith who took the initiative and made sure these young men were awarded their K’s and rewarded for their hard work and determination.
As I said previously, these K’s that Keyser High School athletes and others have proudly displayed for years and years are a sign of Tornado Pride … and not only should these two young men be proud that they stood up and spoke out, but Keyser High School should be proud to have these fine young men representing the Golden Tornado.

Liz Beavers can be reached at lbeavers@newstribune.info.