Pay-to-play high school sports costly for parents
Has anyone ever bought a Bruin, Demon or Bobcat card? Well, if you haven’t, let me describe the concept: buy a card from a high school athlete and you will receive discounts at local businesses like restaurants.
So, many of us have been asked to buy one of these so-called discount cards before the sport seasons start. Each year, neighbors and co-workers ask if we would like to support the high school sports program, especially football.
Athletes are told they have to sell the cards for the “good of the program” and each individual is given the responsibility of selling their quota. In return, they might receive a “team” hoodie.
If you don’t sell your quota, parents are unofficially expected to buy the remainder.
Is this fair? I say not.
High school athletes should not have to work to sell something in order to play. This “pay-to-play” plan is completely wrong. In many cases, a certain number of individuals might never be given the opportunity to participate in high school sports.
I know I gained a lot of maturity and accountability by playing organized sports.
The school system, in this case Montgomery County, is not doing enough to help the athletic programs.
Yes, they stepped up this summer to build new facilities at Christiansburg High School, but parents should not have to face the burden of financing things like helmets for football and warm-up uniforms for basketball.
There are athletic boosters, but they can only do so much.
When Montgomery County added sports in the middle schools, it was already facing a shortfall. Now with middle school sports, athletic programs across the board are suffering an even bigger financial burden. I do not know if having middle school sports outweighs the larger need in Montgomery County. First, the existing high school programs must receive more funding before others are added.
Simply put, high school sports in general are suffering. When athletic directors need new equipment, they face a long process that can take years to replace things that need be replaced today.
I know is true across the state and country, but should we discriminate against a families of an economic level who might not be able to buy all those cards or help with fundraising?
Some families simply do not have the income to put their child into an athletic program. That kind of exclusion harms the child and the program.
News on the 2019 football schedule at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech has announced East Carolina is no longer on its 2019 football schedule. There has been no official word on why the school was removed, but speculation surrounds on ECU not playing a game this fall in Blacksburg because of a tropical storm in their part of the coast. In addition, ECU did not seek to re-schedule the contest, thus causing Tech to bring in Marshall for the final game of the season as a substitute.
This could also mean Marshall could be added to the schedule as early as 2019. Already the two schools were working on a 2020 date.
Games with ECU in the future are still on the table, but you have to wonder if they will also be dropped.
Still no word out of Blacksburg on where the hometown Bruins’ wide receiver Tiquest Terry will end up. He de-committed from UVA in November. Terry would be invited to a Virginia all-star game for seniors in December where he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Top sports stories of 2018 outside the NRV
One of my top “feel-good” sports stories of the year has to be the march of Loyola-Chicago deep into the NCAA basketball tournament. Sister Jean served as the team chaplain and was captured many times by the television cameras. The 98-year-old even got a bobble head made of her after the season was over.
Nick Foles steps into starting role after Carson Wentz was lost to a knee injury and led the Philadelphia Eagles to January’s Super Bowl win over the Patriots. Foles would be named the game’s most valuable player. Sounds like a familiar record being played out this year.
Also, who would’ve ever thought the Las Vegas Knights would reach the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup finals in just their first year of existence. I started watching the team to catch some of the fever everyone else was talking about.
Of course, the Knights would lose the Washington Capitals who finally shook off the curse and won a title.
Who could also not be excited to see a golfer by the name of Tiger finally pick up a win after a five-year wait. Tiger Woods is back, and the golf world cannot be more thrilled.
Then there is the NFL team in Cleveland where they finally won a game. Their quarterback Baker Makerfield also provided a little excitement.
Also, congrats to the USA women’s hockey and men’s curling teams for bringing the gold home from this year’s Winter Olympics. Everyone should catch a curling match.
The year did finish up with one of the most memorable NFL games of the century when the two gunslingers, Patrick Maholmes and Jared Goff, gave us 54-51 thriller. It was the first game in NFL history where both teams scores at least 50 points. Many sportswriters believe it could be a projection of what is to come in the Super Bowl with the L.A. Rams and Kansas City Chiefs meeting again.
One of the biggest sports stories of the year had to be the U.S. Supreme Court lifting the ban on sports gambling. The decision green-lighted individual states to allow sports gambling. Virginia has yet to follow, but West Virginia has approved it and who knows what is yet to come. I just hope it doesn’t drastically affect sport in a negative way.
Some bold predictions for the upcoming year: Finally, someone besides Alabama will win a national championship. The Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets will be the teams to beat in Major League Baseball. Pete Rose will finally be nominated for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Tiger Woods will be one of the top professional golfers once again.
The NFL will make a push into Canada. The Blue Demon wrestling team will notch a 18th straight state title.
ESPN 15 and 16 will officially be launched with Dodge Ball and juggling target-shooting, and the ACC Network will become one of the most popular sports channels.
Virginia Tech will be ranked in the top 10 poll by the end of next season, and the men’s basketball team will make the NCAA Tournament’s Final 8.
DisneyWorld will be home to a new Major League Baseball expansion team, and female wrestlers will be allowed to wrestle men during International competition.
NASCAR’s newest fan favorite will be a movie star who devotes all his time to driving a car.
Ice fishing will become a Winter Olympic sport, and a high school basketball player will score 100 points in a game. The Lakers will give Golden State a run for their money in the second year of Lebron James who will be joined by as many as five over-the-hill basketball players in LA. LeBron will also invest in several restaurants.
Catch you on the flip-side when we will see if any of my predictions come true. Looking forward to 2019. Everyone have a happy New Year.