EDITORIAL-The upside of sports

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Some people say our culture puts too much emphasis on sports, and they may be right. They insist there are so many more important things in life than athletics, and there are. They complain that academics suffer in our schools because practices and games draw kids out of the classroom too often, and at times that’s probably true, too.

But here’s the thing: In the hands of conscientious coaches and administrators, few outlets provide more opportunities for personal growth and development for the participants, and generate more glue and spirit for a community, than do sports-especially at the high school level.

Hillsboro has had an unusual run of success in its high school teams this fall, capped by the football team’s unprecedented run in the state playoffs. Participants in volleyball, cross country and girls’ tennis each experienced the thrill of state competition, making memories that will last a lifetime.

Along the way, an entire community gets a little jazzed as well. We take a bit more pride in the old hometown, we walk a little taller and our own spirit rises as we rally to lift the spirit of the teams we’re cheering for.

For all but a very few, every participant on a successful high school athletic team ends the season with a loss-and so do their fans. Losing can be a growth experience, too, if we use it to prepare ourselves to compete more fully and creatively in this game of life. -DR

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