The question has been around for years: Do high schools place too much of an influence on athletics? I think it is a valid question. Many people outside of education place such a value on athletics that it seems at times they believe athletics are more important than academics. To me, its not so much the athletics themselves, its what goes on while students are playing on teams and competing. When the process of athletics and teams works correctly, the lesson that is learned from being involved in athletics is just as powerful as a lesson learned in the classroom.
On Friday night, our high school team played our archrival in football. We got down early in the game and it seemed as if we were going to finish the season out and accept our fate. That’s when the beauty of athletics kicked in.
Adversity is defined as a difficult situation or condition. When a group of kids and a coaching staff face adversity in contests, the reaction of the team and staff at times defines the school and community. During our football game on Friday, our team faced adversity and met it square on. The team and staff collected themselves, fought back, and eventually won the game.
Education is very similar to overcoming adversity. Students faced difficulty in the classroom almost on a daily basis. As educators, it is our duty to help these students through difficult circumstances or difficult academic situations. We preach to our students to meet the challenges head on and work through the problems.
Athletics have a place in our educational system. How much of a place? That depends on the students and adults involved. If the right students and staff are in place, situations arise when both the students and staff have the opportunity to display their true character. Being a school located in Appalachia Ohio, adversity is something that exists everyday for our students. When you have a group of young men and/or women who are lead by a group of adults who help them overcome adversity, you have yourself a classroom outside of the school building. The ability to over come adversity on the playing field can transform a school and community. What I witnessed on Friday night was one of those transformations. The team and community saw a group of people battle adversity and come out on top. Let’s take these abilities to the classroom to continue our growth on the football field to the classroom. It is what our school and community are all about.