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Examiner
  • Purpose of high school sports is teaching lessons

  • The purpose of participation in high school sports is not to receive a college scholarship.

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  • The purpose of participation in high school sports is not to receive a college scholarship.
    The August 2009 Edition of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Journal contains an article written by the executive director of the organization, Dr. Kerwin Urhahn. It is entitled “Why Do We Participate in High School Sports and Activities?”
    The article includes statistics compiled by the NCAA for the percentage of high school athletes who actually receive college scholarships. For example, of the 546,335 males who participated in high school basketball last year, 3 percent will go on to play at a NCAA school. Of those who play at the NCAA schools, only 1.2 percent would continue to play at the professional level, which equates to a mere .03 percent of the total men’s high school basketball players.
    Last year there were a total of 452,929 female high school basketball players. The percentage of girls to move on to the NCAA college level is 3.3 percent and of those, 1 percent would progress to the professional level (.02 percent of the high school group total).
    Urhahn broke out statistics for football, baseball, men’s ice hockey and men’s soccer. The highest percentage of high school athletes to play at a NCAA school is in men’s ice hockey at 11 percent. The statistics support that high school athletics must be about things other than a college scholarship.
    The purpose of the article was not to discourage high school athletes and their parents, but to give them a reality check.
    He and I both agree that 100 percent of high school athletes should be involved in sports for more important reasons. And at the top of that list of reasons is to learn life lessons provided by participation in a sport or activity.
    High school sports need to be kept in perspective in this time of big money, big hype and big egos. Urhahn closed his article with the following statement, “We should remember that the most important part of being a student-athlete is being a student first.”
    • I kept stats for the Chiefs game against the Giants, and I’m not totally confident with the quarterback. Matt Cassell has happy feet. I will, however, give him the benefit of the doubt given our poor offensive line. Cassell’s stats last Sunday: 15 of 32 for 127 yards, two touchdowns and a 78.5 rating.
    • The Northwest Missouri State win over Missouri Western could be a pivotal game of the year for the Bearcats.
    • I’m staying with my prediction of the Yankees and Cardinals in the World Series. Let me know if anyone has tickets!
    • My quote of the week is from Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts: “It’s hard to separate the mental and the physical. So much of what you do physically happens because you’ve thought about it and mentally prepared for it.”
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