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The high school athletic field is a classroom

High school sports and activity programs provide one of the best bargains in our community and nation and will continue to do so as long as our nation supports them as an integral part of the education of our young people. Not only do these programs teach the more than 10 million young people who participate in them valuable life skills lessons, such as ethics, integrity and healthy lifestyles, they also provide the best entertainment value in our nation.

Role models are more important than ever in today's society. You can serve as a role model for others the next time you display good sportsmanship at a high school athletic event. Good sports are winners, so the next time you attend a sporting event, remember to be a good sport and act properly. Everyone appreciates the good values portrayed by acts of good sportsmanship.

Your ticket to an interscholastic athletic event is a privilege, a privilege to watch youngsters learn on the playing field. One of

the lessons taught to players is one that spectators can follow as well - that of good sportsmanship. Unruly behavior is unacceptable in the classroom, and the athletic field is a classroom. Ethics, integrity and respect are values important in our daily lives. All of these important values are learned by participation in interscholastic activity programs.

Coaches should set a good example for players and fans.

Participants should treat opponents with respect.

Respect should be extended to officials and judges.

Fans should be fans, not fanatics.

Respect for the opponent, spectators, coaches and officials is necessary at all levels of athletics and activity programs. At

interscholastic contests, everyone's behavior should be characterized by generosity and genuine concern for others. Display

this respect the next time you attend a high school event.

An educational environment is critical to the success of high school athletics and activity programs. An important part of that

environment is perspective. Without proper perspective, the lessons learned lose their value. The ability to show that a

feeling of self-worth is more important than the outcome of any game is a vital lesson.

Participation in high school extracurricular activities offers a plentiful supply of solid real-life examples of the positive values

that we place such an emphasis on later in life. Most of us learned to play by the rules through high school activities. The importance of teamwork often was learned on a football field, or in a band, or during a concert or play. The need to respect authority is a vital part of the interscholastic experience, as is the value of commitment. Good sportsmanship is learned,

practiced and executed.

What do many of our communities' attorneys, politicians and actors have in common? Besides being articulate and persuasive, they were probably involved in high school activities. Every society needs leaders. High school activities certainly

share a role in training leaders for tomorrow. High school activities and academics make great curriculum partners.

Where do high school students learn about competition, free enterprise, morals, values and how to succeed in our society?

The answer: in uniquely staged high school activity programs. You can be a part of this valuable learning experience by supporting your local high school by your attendance at music, speech and athletic competitions. Join your friends at the main event -meet them at a high school game, and remember to use good sportsmanship and be a role model.

For more information on this or related topics, contact the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls of the Hi-Line at 265-6206.


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