Back to back: a response and a reply

Will Nations
Staff Writer

I may still search for the alleged coach that sparked a post-game scuffle between the West Point Green Wave and Oxford Chargers last Friday night, but I do know an Oxford High School assistant football coach that uses email.
Oxford Defensive Coordinator Steve Herring responded to my column, which ran in Daily Times Leader’s Wednesday, Sept. 30 edition and can be viewed on DTL’s website, in a Wednesday evening email. His email made allegations of incidents during one of two games the Wave and Chargers played in the 2014 season, calling into question West Point’s character and sportsmanship. He did not specify the game this pair of incidents occurred.
The email transcript follows: “You need both sides of the story. We went victory formation last year and due to a cheap shot from WP (West Point) injured a guard after our qb injured his knee from a tackle where WP took him to the ground by face mask . I will be happy to discuss any of this with you. Steve Herring. DC- Oxford High School.” This email was received at 5:18 p.m., according to my email service used by DTL. It was sent on his iPhone and left his phone number (I have retracted it) at the conclusion of his email.
When I saw the message, I immediately responded to Herring out of the office at 7:18 Wednesday night. My response email is as follows: “Coach Herring, I’ll be happy to give both sides of the story an opportunity in print. When would be a good time to call (Thursday)? Will.”
I never received an email from Herring that night or Thursday. However, I felt Herring would be happy to discuss anything with me over the phone as he stated in our email conversation.
I reached out to Herring multiple times during Thursday afternoon. The first attempt was at 1:47 p.m. I left a message, stating who I was and the office’s phone number. In my second attempt, I waited on the phone to ring, again, to the voicemail. I left a second message for Herring. I hoped the third time would be the charm. Unfortunately, five dial tones later, I was leaving a message in Herring’s voicemail.
I wanted to flesh out the allegations Herring made against West Point and ask about the conclusion of Friday night’s contest. I wanted to give the coach an opportunity, a platform, to voice his opinion, which he said he would be happy to share with me. I never had the conversation, and I was left to print his email response to my column: “Character of a true champion always on display.”