On several occasions in the past couple of weeks, I have been informed that a number of talented young high school athletes won't be playing sports this spring.
The reason: poor grades.
This is a problem I can't understand.
I don't want to use this column to get on my high horse, because I wasn't battling to be valedictorian when I was in school.
But I never was forced to the sidelines after becoming academically ineligible to play sports.
The same was true for my teammates, as best I can recall.
It is truly baffling to me how a youngster who enjoys participating in athletics can't understand making good grades is part of the process.
Certainly, the vast majority of Columbia County's high school athletes put in enough work to make good grades, but we still have a problem in this county.
How is it possible, with teachers and coaches preaching the importance of classwork, that a teen can't get by in high school?
That's not to say high school is easy, but let's face it - if you put in just a little bit of effort it's not difficult for a student-athlete to pass most of the courses.
In fact, completing all of your homework assignments if often enough to earn a passing grade.
What about studying? Well, if you actually do your homework, you'd be surprised how much information remains in your brain.
This isn't meant to be a sermon, but if it sounds as if I'm singling out students for their poor grades, you'd be right. That's exactly what I'm doing.
There are too many resources available for kids to have any excuses.
The Internet, which wasn't around when I was in high school, is an invaluable source of information.
Or, if you are struggling with a class, teachers will gladly provide some extra help, and so will the coaches.
So, for the athletes who have been forced off the team because of academics, and you're feeling embarrassed - Good! You should be.
But for most of you, there is plenty of time to turn things around.
If you're serious about sports, just get it in your head that academics aren't merely an afterthought.
Also, for the parents: rather than getting angry at the school, the teacher, or me, face the facts - your child screwed up.
Rather than misplacing the blame, help your child as much as possible, and make sure that it doesn't happen again.
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