While all area high schools will be officially opening their doors to students in the next two weeks, many of those students have already found their way back to the facilities’ athletic fields.
Almost every sport will have started practicing for the upcoming fall 2011 high school sports season by the end of August, all with eyes on athletic excellence, quality competition and, in the case of varsity teams, a chance to chase the goal of a sectional or even state championship.
The first games are set to take place Labor Day weekend, with a full set of Northern Football Conference games on tap, quickly to be followed by the new Section VII unified soccer season and Section X soccer season, as well as the volleyball, cross country, girls swimming and cheerleading seasons.
This is just the beginning to a new year of sports in all three seasons: fall, winter and spring, where student athletes will take to the field, pool, mats and courts to try their best.
With that comes a few reminders about making sure that the student athletes, coaches and officials enjoy the season, as well as those who come to watch their children, family, friends and alma mater play.
First, when it comes to modified and junior varsity sports, let’s remember that there are no championships here. Sure, it’s nice to win, but these levels are to prepare student athletes for the varsity levels.
Coaches need to remember that these are the levels where fundamentals and implementation happen and coach accordingly. It would surprise a lot of people how many modified teams who win very few games then turn into varsity teams that wins sectional titles.
Also, this is something that parents and fans have to remember. You may question why a certain move took place, but remember that coaches on these levels are trying to give athletes as much experience as possible, which might not always be in the same interest as winning the game.