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Sportsmanship explored by school board

SHANNON DARLING, Sun News Service

High school sports – win at all costs or a boost to student’s self-esteem?

After a request from parents, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board met Oct. 5 at North Lake Tahoe High School to discuss the philosophy of high school sports.

“It is definitely not all about winning,” said parent Linda Sheldon. “I think sports are about self-esteem and values and physical fitness not just about winning.”

Sheldon’s daughter, a senior, was cut from the school’s volleyball team after playing for her entire high school career.

“I don’t see the fairness of putting a freshman on varsity,” said Sheldon. “Everybody has to pay their dues.”

Board president Suzanne Prouty agreed that sports are about more than just winning.

“It’s about empowerment of kids,” said Prouty. “There are ways to not play a kid and still empower them.”

The board thought guidelines would be good for coaches to let them know what is expected of them.

“We need to have some guidelines for these coaches,” said Prouty. “You don’t just take the smartest student and work with him.”

Another parent, Lorene Hoffman, said her son was cut from the soccer team after practicing with the team for over four weeks the night before his first game.

“We believe sportsmanship, fair play and team effort are just as important as winning,” said Hoffman in a letter to the board.

Hoffman’s son was told to give his jersey back the night before the first game and two other players who had not been at practice were playing at the next game, Hoffman said.

North Tahoe High School Principal Rod Wallace did assure the board that policies are in place and they are reviewed before every sports season.

“We are meeting with our coaches before our season starts,” said Wallace.

The board did not take action on this discussion but did suggest to bring it up at another meeting and possibly train coaches.


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