“We have four daughters and that’s actually one of the reasons I started coaching.

“Our youngest got on the high school track team her freshman year and they needed some help, so that’s why I started.”

“I’d never worked with high school kids before. But I love it. It’s really been fun watching kids as they grow some confidence, mature, figure out what they’re doing and grow as people. The transformation is just amazing.”

“Thankfully, all the kids have been really supportive. I miss coaching them tremendously. I’d much rather be coaching …”

“I got an email before our spring season this year from the NHIAA. That’s the governing body for high school sports in the state. They said masks would be mandatory in all outdoor running events except hurdles.”

“I knew right then I wasn’t going to do it.”

“First, these are some of the most strenuous physical competitions on earth and there could be serious health impacts.”

“Second, I wasn’t going to stand up to the kids to lie to them that there was a good reason for this. I could understand why indoor [track] season was canceled with 300 people shoulder to shoulder in one place for hours. But everything we’ve seen says spread is virtually nonexistent outdoors.

“I thought about quitting, but I didn’t like that idea. I was going to make the school make a decision. I sent an email to the school administration, the school board and the media. I said I wouldn’t force kids to wear masks in races and laid out my reasons.”

“I titled the email ‘Fire me if you must.’ And they did two days later.”

“But it did get attention.”

“I’ve had hundreds of emails and phone calls saying ‘Thank you, I’m glad someone spoke out.’ I’ve counted two negative responses.”

“And I can’t find a single person who says wearing masks at these meets is a good idea. Yet that’s what they’re doing.”

“Now if you go to any meet, when the gun goes off about two-thirds of the kids pull their masks down. It creates an unequal playing field between kids trying to follow the rules and those who aren’t. That was something I predicted in my farewell note …”

“Parents are asking, ‘What can we do?’”

“One answer is that people really need to start speaking up. Don’t be quiet about it. Don’t be shy about it. Ask questions and demand what you want. If people are quiet, the powers that be cruise along. I don’t know what else to do other than that, or pull your kids out of school. That’s the direction I’m going. My plan is to start a private track and field club in New Hampshire.”

“Without people speaking up, we’ve seen one of the more scary and extreme examples of the state interfering with people’s lives. Declaring people non-essential. Shutting down business that people spent decades building.”

“Arguments like this come down to fundamental rights. Do you have a right to determine what happens with your body? I think that’s an absolute right, assuming you’re not violating someone else’s right.”

“If you know you’re contagious or infectious then you’re stepping over the line. You’re violating their rights and threatening their well being. But until that happens you should be free to do as you wish.”

“It’s essentially innocent until proven guilty. What’s happened with the mandates and lockdowns and everything else is a presumption of guilt. ‘There’s a chance you might be contagious or guilty, therefore we’re locking down and you only get freedom when you prove you’re not.’

“That’s the opposite of what this country was founded on.”

Brad Keyes
Epsom, New Hampshire