High school sportsgood in many ways

The Courier, Houma, Nov. 8:

Several months ago, when football players were sweating in the hot August sun, they endured for the chance to represent their schools in athletic competition.

As the football players sweated outside, the volleyball players were working just as hard inside high school gyms throughout our region.

And their goals were the same: win a championship.

Realistically, we know that every team isn’t going to win a state championship.

In fact, the majority don’t even make the playoffs.

Instead, they have worked hard for these many months — some of them honing their craft since the end of last season — for the love of their respective sports and the honor of competition.

They have all succeeded in that goal. Our local student-athletes have once again successfully balanced their books and their practices to get the most possible out of their high school years.

They haven’t done it by themselves.

There are the coaches, of course. But there are also equipment managers, trainers, cheerleaders, boosters and all the rest of the people who get the players onto the fields or into the gyms throughout the season.

But there are all the other folks who play such a huge part. The students who go to the games are the biggest and most loyal supporters. The parents and alumni are huge cheering sections. The bands give each stadium its unique sound.

At the center of it all is not a win-or-lose proposition. These kids are all winners. They have tried hard and given their all in addition to the work their classmates have had to do.

No, at the center of it all is an activity that makes all the people around it better.

Whether it’s football or volleyball, high school sports help to teach these students about something more noble.

Some might think first about wins and losses when they think of high school sports. But the real importance comes in the lessons, such as learning how to stick with something even when it is difficult or thankless or less fun than they thought because their teammates are depending on them. ...