In an age where criticizing high school coaches is more prevalent than ever, a new low may have been reached Monday.
In a bizarre display during host Briarcliff’s Section 1 baseball quarterfinal playoff win over Irvington, a small plane was spotted flying with a banner that read, “Fire coaches Schrader & Kowalczyk.”
It referred to Briarcliff head coach John Schrader and his assistant Walter Kowalczyk.
What made the timing so peculiar is the recent success that the Bears have had. This is the second year in a row in which they’ve entered the sectional playoffs as the No. 1 seed in Class B. Briarcliff finished the regular season at 17-3 and is considered one of the better teams in the state in its class.
“Although there are some detractors out there, I feel we have the best kids and best parents in Section 1,” Schrader texted The Journal News/lohud.com. “I would not want to coach at any other district. … I love it here.”
Justin Jaye, owner of Fly Signs Aerial Advertising, said a woman paid his company $1,250 to have the sign flown over Briarcliff High School for 30 minutes. The sign was supposed to be flown last Friday, he said, but weather postponed the flyover until Monday.
Jaye would not identify the woman, but said the plane flew out of Brookhaven, Long Island. She reached out to him a couple of weeks ago about the sign, he said.
Those kinds of sign requests are common, Jaye said, adding that at least once a month his company receives orders for similar signs from disgruntled sports fans.
“Yesterday’s flyover served to highlight what can happen when adults lose perspective on high school sports,” Briarcliff schools superintendent Jim Kaishian told The Journal News/lohud.com in an email on Tuesday morning. “In an attempt to promote self-interest, some adults become willing conspirators in the theft of joy from youth athletic programs.
“In time, I am sure it will be known who was responsible. Until then, our focus remains on raising confident, capable and joyful young men and women — our athletic program is merely an extension of this larger educational mission.”