Learning Lessons The Hard Way
An educator friend once observed that High School sports represent the non-traditional classroom. Unlike an English or math class, where students learn their lessons during the week and then take the test on Friday; athletes take the test on Friday (play their game), then learn the lesson afterwards.
It has just come to light this weekend that close to a dozen young athletes at Everett HS have learned one of life’s harshest lessons, as a result of attending a party over the Christmas holidays in which activity unbecoming of minors (involving alcohol and/or drugs) was being engaged in, representing a violation of the Athletic Code of Conduct many HS athletes agree to as a condition of participation in the sport.
As a result, these students’ basketball seasons, which are just now at the halfway point, are over.
They have all been suspended from playing.
Their teams, candidates to make Districts, if not State, have seen their dreams dashed.
Their replacements will undoubtedly play their hearts out, especially those given their first real taste of varsity playing time. Most of them have dreamed of the day when they could wear the colors and represent their school. You never replace a hero with a zero.
Still, all those involved with the boys and girls basketball teams at Everett will be left to wonder ‘what might have been’. Probably for the rest of their lives.
Coaches all around Puget Sound will take this opportunity to remind their players of the Code, and to plead with them to not do anything off the court that would jeopardize the team’s chances.
Perhaps parents will be reminded to keep a more watchful eye on their kids. Some might take turns offering their homes for post-game gatherings, even springing for the pizza and pop the kids can enjoy, under proper adult supervision.
Ronald Reagan’s advice on dealing with the Rooskies (when it came time to mutually disarm) seemed sound at the time, and probably can be applied to parents dealing with teenagers; ‘Trust but verify’.
While it’s likely the Everett kids weren’t the only ones who violated the Code recently, they are the latest ones to be made an example of and to suffer the consequences of their actions.
Whether their lesson will be learned by others, or ignored, will depend as much on the teachers as it will the students.
There’s no question about it.