Lance Scranton: Excellence and inspiration

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Lance Scranton

Our community had a chance to taste a little bit of the future last week during the Homecoming festivities.

While there were several events that we can bite down on as indicators along the way for our future success, one stood out.

Homecoming culminates on the high school football game but in past years some have tried to take the focus off of athletics and make the celebration more “inclusive” or “politically correct.”

Fortunately, the 1967 Gridiron Gang came back to town this year to help all of us realize the importance of sports tradition and the value of sticking together. Their story is one to remember and a valuable lesson in dedication and desire.

I have been a coach at our High School for 15 years and until our community began a Booster Club, I wasn’t aware of the many valuable traditions we have to celebrate in our community. So focused on helping “build” a tradition, I forgot building a tradition of excellence requires a solid foundation.

A sports foundation is strengthened by honoring those who have played before us. Realizing the effort and dedication required to become excellent begins by understanding and celebrating our past achievements.

While the 1967 football team was the focus, the story of their improbable appearance in the State Championship game is inspiring and a testament to cooperation and attitude. It’s a success story we can all learn from.

Today we focus so much on wins and losses that we forget that the investment in strengthening the foundation of our local sports programs revolves around the simple joy of playing the game and learning to appreciate the self-discipline and sacrifice that sports can teach.

We get the tunnel vision to WIN and forget the WHY.

Some even advocate that young kids specialize in one sport so they can develop into an “outstanding” athlete. Unfortunately, the foundation for the other sports programs is weakened because the support the “specialized” athlete could add to the structure is missing.

This type of specializing is really selfishness dressed up as dedication.

The formation of a Booster Club has added a definite expectation of excellence in our local programs, among our coaches and in our student athletes. It has also sparked some great conversations about how we develop programs and the importance of kids enjoying the thrill of victory in more than just one sport.

As the 1967 Gridiron Gang reminded us, “We gotta’ stick together.” Only then, will truly great things happen.

Thanks Booster Club, Student Council, band, football players, and community for a great week.

Truly Inspiring!

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