Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Matter Of Life and Death.. and If You Don't Win It's Death!

With the leaves changing color, and as children go back to school, every high school student knows that means one thing; the beginning of high school sports. Although a matter of opinion, it is pretty inevitable that football reigns king during in the fall. In every city, and in every state around the nation, people from small towns to big cities flock to their local high school stadiums to support the team.

I've always marveled how a simple yet entertaining sport to some is transformed into a religion to others. In small towns all along the Southern United States, high school football is THE only thing that matters to these small southern towns. At meager ages of seventeen and eighteen years old, kids in these beyond serious football programs are put on the same level as professional athletes by those that watch them on the field on Friday nights. In today's sports world, high school athletics, especially football is being viewed more and more. The hit T.V. show Two A Days was a series on MTV that went inside a high school football team from Hoover High School in Alabama. It was truly stunning to see a city devoted entirely to a high school football team. The practices and program as a whole from other schools do not compare with the programs constructed at these high schools. The athletes seemingly don't stop training, practices are run all year long and during the season players are expected to practice twice a day, before and after school. 

High school football is literally a way of life for these towns. And, with a win comes praise for players and coaches until the next Friday, but with a loss brings a burden of questions and harsh remarks from fans. The only problem is, the fans and the city are all in the same. It is almost a no brainer that in these football programs if a team does not produce results, a new coaching staff can be expected the following season. It seems a silly concept that a football team and politics are almost identical. The towns containing these programs are almost in their own little world, electing a quarterback or coach is almost like electing a mayor or senator for anywhere else. High school football is closely watched all over the nation. To some a social event and to others a way of life. Some of us just watch, while others eat, sleep, and breathe high school football. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

ABDE.. Wait? Wheres the C

In all sports, there is always one, if not several members of any team are given the responsibility to lead his or her team throughout a season.  The dictionary defines "captain" simply: "the person in command of the ship" and in this case the team on and sometimes off the field. Personally, in order to be a captain one must portray not only skill and a desire for the sport but must be disciplined and have a remarkable character as well. Keeping in mind however, a captain is not always the most skilled player, but should be a player that possesses outstanding leadership qualities. Regardless of who the captain on any particular team may be, the coach or other players have nominated this person for a reason, and for this reason alone should that player(s) be captain.

At Lincoln Sudbury High School (LSHS), the role of captain will no longer be present in any part of the athletic program at the school. You must be wondering, that this decision is for a good reason. However the cause of this action is in fact unbelievable and childish. In order to "not hurt other players' feelings", captainship will not be aloud at LSHS. According to local newspapers and athletic director, it was a complaint made by a number of parents, who felt as though those who have received captainship have done it in an unfair and in an unsystematic way. In stead of captains, the decision has been made by the AD to allow a board of students willing to volunteer, as part of a sports leadership committee, students of any age are aloud to join.

It seems as high school sports grow more and more popular we see parents getting more and more involved and often times in ways that are more negative than positive. As part of a recurring issue in sports programs, negatively involved parents wish to control everything from playing time of their child all the way to who gets hired as coach. In this particular case, we have seen that parents have pushed their "issue" so far that a change was made. Whether or not the change was for the better, or for the right reason is debatable.