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Success in high school not based on results

Posted: April 8, 2012 - 12:09am

I hope everybody had a nice relaxing spring break and are all limbered up.

It’s time for the stretch run.

Unlike some professional sports, whose breaks mark the midseason, most schools will have just three weeks until the end of their regular season when spring break ends. In fact, lacrosse is the only Columbia County sport that doesn’t end its regular season until May.

Tennis leads the march into the postseason with Region 3-AAA going to playoffs on April 10. Augusta Prep, in the Georgia Independent Schools Association, starts region playoffs on April 11 and Region 2-AAAA on April 17. The other sports aren’t far behind.

With campaigns winding down, I wonder what makes for a successful season? I think they have to be viewed in different ways at different levels.

I have never been a fan of the “we don’t keep score” youth leagues. Growing up, I was on plenty of lousy teams, but if there were oranges at halftime or a Slurpee in a baseball collectible cup waiting afterward, things were OK.

Expectations play a definite part, and they get raised the higher you go. At the pro level, anything short of a championship is routinely viewed as a waste. The Augusta RiverHawks had a great regular season but will their early ouster from the playoffs be more remembered?

So, how should we view our high school teams?

In any given sport, only one team is going to win its region and only one team in each Georgia classification is going to win the state championship. I don’t see falling short of that as reason for considering a year unsuccessful.

It would be unrealistic to think that not achieving those goals wouldn’t be disappointing. No one goes into a season hoping to achieve mediocrity or fall short in a title game.

But to throw reality into it, some teams simply are more talented than others. How teams perform with that talent is a decent measuring stick. Throw growing teens into the mix, dealing with high school and all its inherent pressures, and that is a variable that can’t be measured.

Ultimately, the best judges of what is a successful season are coaches and their players.

They know the amount they gave on a day-to-day basis, whether it be behind the scenes at long practices or under the spotlight of game day.

Sometimes the result just doesn’t match the effort given.

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