Seneca football coach to cross teachers' picket line

Teachers in the Seneca (PA) Valley School District could go on strike today, but it won't stop Ron Butschle from coaching the high school's football team.

Butschle said the teachers' union has asked him not to coach if there is a strike. But he said he will cross a picket line if he must. Butschle is a 10th-grade English teacher at Seneca Valley.

"I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I didn't coach," Butschle said. "One of the things we talk about constantly with the team is the idea of commitment, and being dedicated to one another. It's kind of like being a family. I feel like I'd be turning my back on those kids if I didn't coach.

"I know this [crossing a picket line] is not going to sit real well with a lot of people. But I'm just going to have to deal with it. I'd rather deal with that, than knowing I was being disloyal to these kids, because I've asked for a lot of loyalty from them."

Seneca Valley has a 4-3 record and is in good shape to qualify for the WPIAL Class AAAA playoffs for the first time in Butschle's four years as coach. The Raiders are in third place in the Northern Five Conference. The top four teams are guaranteed a postseason spot.

Butschle has two assistants who are teachers. He said one has decided not to coach if there is a strike, but the other will continue coaching.


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