Tuesday, August 17, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 33 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“The Crowsnest Pass is like nothing else I’ve been in.”
- Daniel Scott  
- on community mountain   
bike trail project   

 

 
It's well known that enrollment numbers have generally dropped in local schools over the past decade, both in Crowsnest Pass and throughout rural Alberta. However, while the Crowsnest Consolidated High School has also seen its numbers in high school sports decline, other schools of similar size have maintained a larger sports team size, and local coaches wonder why.
Clark Goodwin, a longtime high school coach and referee, says that he and many of the other coaches see this trend everywhere they go. The CCHS teams play against other schools of similar or lesser size, he says, but are almost always outnumbered.
"They have more kids out for sports than we do," says Goodwin. "We find it very frustrating to have six or seven players against 10 or 12."
He says that the students who do play are excellent and in good shape, but when other teams have more substitutes to play in volleyball, basketball, or baseball, the CCHS students get worn down by the end of the game, which he says is a big part of why many local teams find it hard to win a lot of games.
Goodwin says that this past school year, the senior basketball teams, which draw from grades 10 through 12, had at most seven or eight players. "You can't even practice with eight," he says.
He doesn't know with certainty what the cause is, why other schools maintain larger teams while CCHS often struggles to put together a full squad. "The frustration is that we just don't have enough people come out," he says. "I don't even know what the reasons are. I don't know what the issues are. Kids just don't play."
Possible reasons, he suspects, include the number of other non-school sports that exist in the community, which can draw some students away. He speculates that interest in computers and video games can keep others from playing, while perhaps money is a concern to some parents, even though he says that it should not be.
 
He acknowledges that it costs a fee to play high school sports, but notes that there are many organizations in town that will help fund such a cost if the parents cannot afford it, and that the school itself is willing to make arrangements to help make the cost easier to bear.
"It shouldn't be a money issue," he says.
Goodwin says that high school sports are highly beneficial to students, and should be encouraged and promoted both within the school and at home by parents. Parents can also play a key role by making sure they come out to watch their children play as often as possible.
"There are tremendous benefits," he says, "not only physically but socially."
He notes that a lot of friendships can be made in sports, with the sense of team that develops. Goodwin himself still has friends that he played sports with as a younger man, and friendships he's gained through coaching.
In addition, he suggests, time on a high school sports team can be included on a resume to demonstrate that a student is dedicated and able to work with others.
In the end, says Goodwin, winning is not everything, and high school sports are about learning, having fun, making friends, and kids doing the best they can. "If they do that, we're more than happy with them," he says, and assures that all of the coaches feel the same.
Yet at the same time, he believes that the school would have a stronger, winning attitude and would feel better about itself if more players came out and contributed to more winning games. He encourages students to try out for a team even if they haven't played in previous years, as the coaches want to teach the game and make sure everyone has a good experience.
He hopes that this school year will see more students coming out to give high school sports a try, having a good experience with their school, their coaches, and their teammates.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 33 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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