The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

From the best seat in the house


The word commitment popped up over the weekend. High school athletes were asked about their commitment to their sport. It is the kind of question that comes up every year around the holidays, whether it be Christmas break or in this case spring break.

I understand the perspective of a coach who may be invested in getting their team to be all they can be. But, I also understand the families who say family comes before sports. Vacations during school breaks are sometimes the best time families have to spend time together.

As a sports writer who focuses almost singularly on high school sports, I confess I would prefer there were no sports leagues associated with schools. Obviously, that’s an unlikely option at this point. Adult obsession with school sports is at an all-time high.

Unlikely as it may be, I would prefer to see the creation of a county sports department with a director who would be responsible for organizing county leagues. I believe a county tax for sports is justified by the huge social and economic value sports bring to communities.

There are many good things that come with this approach, including more teams, more variety of sports, consistent rivalries and less pressure on schools, coaches and kids. Those who want to treat kids sports as if it were the pros are free to do so. Those who play for the joy of playing could also do that.

As long as we are tied to high school leagues, there will always be this debate over commitment. And if you are in a league where some are and you aren’ get the lesson of graceful losing.


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