Play ball … Why is that so difficult |

Play ball … Why is that so difficult

With enrollment at North Tahoe High School diving down below the 400 mark, it’s no surprise that Laker athletic programs are suffering.

In the fall it was football and boys tennis. Then boys basketball and Alpine skiing. And now there’s talk of cutting the baseball team.

While it may not be surprising that a small school can’t fill rosters, there’s no excuse for the shortfalls.

There is no good reason that a pool of 400 people can’t field a varsity track team, golf team, softball team and baseball team. What is that, 100 kids total for all four spring programs?

Sure, North Tahoe also hosts amazing music programs and club athletic participants ” but there is no school paper and no theater program ” so what are North Tahoe’s students so busy with?

Maybe the kids at North Tahoe just don’t realize what an opportunity they have. An opportunity that they will never get again. An opportunity that, if taken, they will most likely look fondly back on for the rest of their lives.

Representing your high school on an athletic team is an experience that will never come back around.

Show me another time in your life when you can try out for something and be guaranteed a spot.

I know that many high school-age teens think the world is against them, but trust me kids, you’ll never get that kind of acceptance again.

While it is sad that the North Tahoe student body as a whole can’t seem to field teams to represent that big, beautiful new school sitting on top of Dollar Hill, the real tragedy is the reason the rosters are short.

The problem is that, of the male population at North Tahoe that does have some desire to wear a Laker uniform, too many can’t pull the grades necessary to be eligible.

At North Tahoe it takes a 2.0 and no failing marks to play a sport.

Sure, there are one or two kids out there who go to every class, get a tutor, turn in all the assignments and still just can’t quite pass math.

But anyone who went to a public school such as North Tahoe, the typical teenage student needs little more than effort to pull a ‘C’ average.

Turn in your homework assignments, try to pay attention in class and show up for tests.

That is what a ‘C’ average means. It means that you tried.

As a public school student you are getting an education that’s paid for by the general population; the least you can do is put in some effort.

When you mark down your name and say you want to play a sport, the least you can do is try to make good on your commitment.

In this country we are given four years in high school ” four years to be guaranteed a chance to represent our school by wearing its colors in some capacity.

After those four years whisk by, we are never given that chance again.

So if you are a North Tahoe student and you have been able to read this little column, you should be capable of a ‘C’ average.

Take advantage of your youth while you still have it.

Alex Close is a the assistant editor of the Tahoe World and sportswriter for the Sierra Sun. He can be reached at

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