Dear Editor,

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Clifford Blakely’s basketball programs over the past 3 decades. Cliff began coaching at McCloud High School, where he coached for 7 years at the varsity level, and another 7 as both JV and Varsity. During this time, he was named Evergreen coach of the year twice and lead its team to 2 sectional semi-finals. At Mt. Shasta High, he has been the varsity coach for the past 7 years, named coach of the year 4 times and in the past 6 years has lead his teams to 6 consecutive section semifinals or better, including this year’s historic run at a State Championship.

Over the 3 decades, Cliff has displayed himself as the consummate “Peaceful Warrior.” His demeanor always is in support of his players and represents his community with humility and honor. What Cliff has demonstrated during his coaching career is the ability to create a basketball program. Wins and losses are how many of us judge the success of a program, and in that respect he definitely has been successful over his career. The effects of his programs are multifaceted.

A program can influence talent in younger players, who aspire to become part of it when they are ready for high school. It also can plant the seed of graceful, aggressive competition. Cliff has achieved all of this, but his contribution to the communities of McCloud, Mount Shasta, Weed and Dunsmuir reaches much deeper into our social fabric than we will ever know. Thank you coach!

Bob Hall