Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Good News for Toledo City League

I read some exciting news about the Toledo City League sports programs. The TPS has found the money to reinstate some of the freshman sports that were done away with in 2010. Junior high and freshman sports were done away with because of the huge budget deficit and  improve the public perception with voters.

The TPS is going to restore freshman football, basketball, and volleyball, along with some other programs. There is no guarantee the restored programs will be offered for more than one year if the levy fails in November. My guess, very little chance.

When the athletic cuts were made, more than 2,000 students left the city schools. Can you blame them? Although there is no way of knowing how many left because of sports cuts, my guess is that it was a significant number. With open enrollment to some of the suburban schools and the private schools, the numbers could be huge.

For all of my 31 years in education, I have preached about the importance of loyalty to your school. Over the last few years, honestly, my viewpoint has and is changing. My comment is "What is best for the student." I wrestle with this alot. I see it a lot. Kids open enroll or transfer to give themselves a better chance at the next level. In some situations, this is the right move. I have come to the conclusion that each case is different.

One of my favorite sayings is "If you are good enough, a college recruiter will find you." Of course, this is directed to sports, but the saying includes all areas of education.

City schools throughout Ohio are all experiencing the same situation. Students are transferring to the suburbs or attending private school. When Glenville was not winning, nobody cared. Over the last ten years, people have become critical of their success. There is no sense to name schools, but this happens often now and all over Ohio. A player who I like as a player and a person recently left Dayton City Schools and enrolled in a neighboring school. Last summer he asked me what I thought, and my answer was that I could see both sides of his story. "If you are good enough, they will find you." He stayed last year, but made the move this spring.

My concern is always about the improvment of city league football. I wish I had the answer about funding programs. Possibly the best answer is that coaches just have to work their butts off to find ways to make money and promote the importance of participating in sports. The Head Coach at Columbus Marion Franklin is a prime example. He has fund raisers and works hard to promote his program. Back in the day, I mowed the football field, helped line the field at times, washed the kids' uniforms, sat on a dunking machine, and even stayed "UP"all night at the boosters' tent at the Marion County fair. That was the old days, but the work ethic is still necessary today.

Being "lily white," and living in rural communities all of my life, I do not know what "inner city" life is all about. But, whether it be inner city or a school on a country road,  I have a huge concern for making kids better and for giving them a chance to succeed. The problem is that I do not have the resources to do that. I can only suggest ideas, and anyone can do that.

Congrats to the Toledo Public School systems for reinstating freshman football. Hopefully, the TPS can attract some good role models to coach these young people. (That is a whole different topic). Remember, "IF YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, A COLLEGE RECRUITER WILL FIND YOU." Just work to be good enough.

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