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Booster Says Time for Change Has Arrived at Banning

I am writing in response to an article in the Dec. 23 South Bay sports section regarding the coaching situation at Banning High.

In the winter of 1991, Joe Dominguez stepped down as coach of the Banning football team. Ed Paculba was named as his replacement. The Banning Booster Club, the Red and Black Alumni Club and the fans gave him their support.

During Paculba’s two years as coach, the support has deteriorated and game attendance has decreased. Banning pride is at an all-time low.

When Paculba took over the program, he stated that his goals were to bring back Banning pride, continue the winning tradition of Banning football and win a City Section 4-A Division championship.

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These goals have not been accomplished, even though the team has had exceptional talent. Banning has struggled through a 12-10 record for the past two seasons, including a 5-6 record in 1993, the school’s first losing season in 20 years. Banning has lost in the first round of the playoffs for two years in a row to Garfield.

When Paculba attended booster club meetings at the beginning of the season, he gave a variety of explanations for the team’s performance:

* Lack of talent.

* Kids today are different--they don’t listen, they’re not as smart as they used to be.

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* The officials.

* Field conditions.

* The quarterback.

If Banning had no talent, how did 17 Banning players make first and second team All-Pacific League? Apparently, the coaches of the teams we play against have more respect for our talent than our own coach does.

Paculba has stated that he hasn’t been given enough time to show what he can do. We feel that his record speaks for itself.

David Williams of Carson won the City 4-A title during his first year as coach.

The Banning Booster Club was approached last year at the Banning-Carson game to start a petition to remove Paculba as coach. We stood behind our commitment to give him our unconditional support during his first year.

We were approached again this year by players, fans and parents. Many of these parents will not allow their sons to play football at Banning if Paculba returns as coach next season.

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The booster club will not support the decline of Banning football. We cannot support Paculba degrading players in the press. We cannot support declining attendance.

We all feel that it is time for a change.

GAMAL SADI

President, Banning Booster Club


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