CDP Editorial: Sports centered
October 19, 2011
It hasn’t been a banner year for Moffat County High School athletic programs, with flagship teams like football and volleyball struggling for wins. School district leaders and officials must realize how important athletic success is to the community, and identify ways to help our local athletes improve their performance.
The fall sports season hasn't been kind to Moffat County High School.
The football team is limping along with a 1-6 record. The volleyball team's mark stands at 4-10.
The soccer team, after breaking through the playoff barrier last season, has regressed to a 6-5-2 season this year.
Boys golfers expecting to possibly earn a state playoff berth didn't bring their A-games to the regional tournament and missed the cut.
The only bright spot seems to be the girls and boys cross-country teams, which are competing today in Delta for back-to-back regional titles, with individual runners also positioned to vie for state titles.
If only all of our programs could duplicate the success of the cross-country teams.
Sadly, the other programs are in the back of the pack.
Be careful you don't misinterpret this opinion: this is not a condemnation of our student-athletes, their hard work in practice or performance in the games.
Rather, we're critiquing the sports program at MCHS as a whole.
We believe our school district and community hasn't put athletes in the best position to compete with rival schools that have bigger enrollments and big budgets to pump into sports.
We believe it's time school district administrators, educators and school board members recognize the obvious — the community wants and deserves teams that can compete because it's a reflection on all of us, and good teams can foster community pride.
It's time a long, hard look is taken at MCHS athletics in an effort to learn what shortcomings might be addressed.
Is it a funding issue, and if so, can the private sector be tapped to help offset costs? Are there creative methods of fundraising to be implemented?
Are there issues with facilities and equipment? Are the right coaches and support staff in place?
Should there be more community involvement in the form of bigger and more supportive booster clubs?
Should parents take as much interest as coaches in getting their child prepared to play within the framework of team sports?
There's another obvious reason why our teams have to get better — revenue. Teams that can compete and win draw bigger crowds, meaning bigger returns at the gate.
The die-hard fans will keep coming no matter what, but successful teams also have the ability to draw average fans, bolstering the school's profile and raising money.
The key to a solid educational experience is having programs that are well-rounded, both academically and athletically.
Right now, neither is overly impressive at MCHS.
It has been in the past and can be again.
But, there's got to be an emphasis on improvement first, and today at least, we see that emphasis sitting on the sidelines.
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