COMMENTARY: Bashing All Sports
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Obviously I am not intelligent enough to figure out a solution for every problem.

Then again, I've never met anyone who was.

However, if I were, I might start with the Cannon County Athletic Council.

It's experiencing a few problems these days. One big one has to do with money, as in not having as much as it needs.

There's not much help I can offer in that area, although I do have some ideas I might share at some point and time.

Another challenge facing the council is one of cohesiveness and participation.

While it's intent is to be an organization which benefits all sports in the community, for various reasons its main focus has been on football.

Basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, golf and tennis have not seen, or been shown, how their involvement will benefit their programs and players, and have gone their own way.

Athletic council and school officials have committed to holding discussions on how to go about making the organization one which is more inclusive of and beneficial to all sports.

I'd like to see representatives of Woodbury, Auburntown and Cannon County governments, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, involved in the discussions as well. The Athletic Council has the potential to do things which will benefit the physical fitness of all citizens of the county.

I have already thought of one simple step toward achieving the goal of togetherness.

Friday night on the Woodbury Town Square, hundreds of people turned out for a Fall Football BBQ Bash to kickoff the start of football season. The primary point of the event was to introduce the players who will be performing on the gridiron in the weeks and months to come.

I've not heard whether there will be similar Athletic Council showcases when basketball season rolls around in a few months, or Spring sports next year, but given the community enthusiasm on display Friday night, it certainly seems worth considering.

And a big step toward building bridges.
Members Opinions:
August 16, 2010 at 9:51am
Our main problem in Cannon County with sports is that we have come to the point of obsession and lost our way on focusing on what the kids are really in school, for which is education.

I say that and still hope you all understand that I have a vested interest in my own children playing sports. I have one son playing for the Cannon County Lions Basketball team and am a proud father of the Coach of the Woodbury Grammar School who won the county tournament last year.

Having said that, the primary goal of our children should be education. The chances of any of our children (mine included) of making the NFL or NBA someday are slim to none.

But, if we actually wanted to make a difference in our sports programs in Cannon County we would do the following.

Build a new High School. Combine all county K-5 and put them in the Woodbury Grammar School and use the old High School as a middle school for 6th, 7th and 8th grades.

Do that and watch our sports programs flourish. Watch the kids as they learn how to bond together at a much earlier age. Watch them play High School sports after they had been together for three and four years in grammar school. Watch the community rally behind any of the sports teams as they play against Riverdale or Kitrell or Oakland instead of Woodbury vs. Eastside. As a parent I had much rather root for a Cannon County team against Rockvale than I had one child playing against a team from my own hometown.

Do what I suggest and watch parents hold more and better fundraisers for one sports group instead of five different schools.

Do what I suggest and watch the education of our children increase as test scores rise and the student per teacher ratio drop.

We can live in a dream world and believe that a new school is not needed or can't be afforded or we can start to prepare NOW for the future of our children. The longer we wait the more it will cost us in every aspect of the game!
August 16, 2010 at 11:15am
From my understanding the original reason the building was built was because the basketball program/coach was giving football a hardtime about using what they called "their" locker room space, which was inside in the gym. This also happened when volleyball came to play. They felt the gym floor was theirs not anyone elses, so the volleyball prgram for a year struggled until being hear.
Football always wanted and needed their own room, so the building was a natural. But...when it was built it was also to use for other sports as well. Plenty of space had been provide for baseball, softball, football, soccer, etc. When it was ready to be used the baseball coach at the time (who is no longer the coach), said "We don't want it or need it!" This was ridiculous as parents of baseball players for years have been trying to find them a place to meet, work out, etc. He was new and knew no better. That was a foolish mistake on his part. But the building is mostly football but has plenty of space for all outdoor sports.
There is however always been a controversy as to who it really belongs to. The football coaching staff think they own it all. This goes along with using the field and concession stand. The boosters and the staff may provide money and time in to them but it belongs to the school NOT the football program alone. I know there have been controversy about soccer using the field because it messes it up, or wanting to use the concession stand and it cause problems. I sincerely understand that football may have raised money for it and they call it theirs..but this has been an ongoing problem for years that has been allowed to. It needs to stop! They belong to the school, bottom line. It's on school property! By allowing the coachs to be at odds because one coach doesn't want the other coach to use the facility is awful. The higher ups in the school should and should have already put their foot down about this type of attitude. The building and the council are here to benefit everyone.
It's the same attitude with a coaches when an athlete says he wants to play two sports that overlap. The football coach says no. One or the other you can't do both. This is NOT the NFL, and for many years athletes have been able to do this. They are just kids in high school for goodness sake. This should be allowed. I realize it may effect your program, but most of the kids that play more than one sport are easily able to adapt to both and learn quickly, so that's not an excuse either, they are still children.
The building is also off limits to senior football players after the season is over. The coach won't allow them in their to work out even if it's for their own benefit.He feels it's disruptive to his new team. All though the seniors still have football listed as a class and are suppose to be instructed and continue to work out this DOES NOT HAPPEN! They are left to sit and do nothing, or find something else to do. WOW how fast they drop you.
There are so many problems with the sports issue as the first one mentioned. TOO much is put on the sports, thus not allowing a middle school cause...what's gonna happen to the basketball program?
You should realize many girls or boys have gone on and actually made a career out of basketball? Compared to the ones making a career out of using their brains and education?
Yes this is a sore subject to me, as for years I've sit by and watch this happen again and again. It's a shame more people don't take note on what should be done for the better of the students all around. Not everyone can play football or basketball, and if we continue with that ignorant attitude our children will never prosper.
August 17, 2010 at 9:46pm
For Dolittlerd77 and beachlover....two things need to be stated.....beachlover comments like your's continues to divide the community into what it is.....
BASKETBALL VS FOOTBALL...and Basketball will always is what it is!!!! a basketball community. And it grows daily with the addition of a local hero Matt Rigsby and the effort he has put into building the AAU program and supporting the grammer school girls and boys basketball program. the girls program has grown under the direction of Dodgen and since he is the new AD I'm sure the focus will remain on basketball with football getting it's due attention. Only one thing remains, that is for Dodgen to commit to the county and move to Woodbury. I doubt that will happen, but in local circles it is a topic often discussed. Great job by the basketball program....and if you see where the money goes... it follows Dodgen. New basketball floor and lights for girl's softball. I state "if you sit back...listen to the talk and even someone like me with my 6th grade education can figured it out much easier than the 17 year old whom spoke at the school board meeting. Again keep up the great work Basketball coaches

As for Dr. Dolittle.... i don't remeber anyone stating there child would leave CC and continue through college into the NFL or NBA....Nobody in this county has the idea their child will end up in any kind of major league sport...small college at best yes, but professional sports no!!!! Your kid is a great kid, he did a wonderful job with his players this year!!!!! just as each and every coach at their prospective schools did... so when you post your opinion please include all the coaches who volunteer their timeand effort.
As for a middle school for 7th and 8th grades, a great idea!!!! and you can continue the grammer school league utilizing the 5th and 6th graders to uphold one of the county's great traditions along with a fund raiser for each school. So the focus needs to be on education and the extra-cirricular activites whether it be basketball, football...our great band (hats off to the band director) and all of the other activities whether it's FFA, art club or what ever each child chooses to participate in...sports or not. each activity teaches students to milti-task and maintain the proper grades to continue that activity.
Grades and using the funding provided by the state lottery system should be our focus. Supporting your teachers in the system and making your child perform at the highest level in the class room is much more important than any touchdown, homerun or last second buzzer beater.....Support your local sport, band, club or organization by gining money or volunteering your time....but parents make your kid hit the's the only way we can grow as a community......
August 18, 2010 at 12:31am
Well mkjomurf I appreciate the title of Dr. you gave me, however it is really not necessary even though I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

When I commented below, my primary focus as it has always been when I discuss this particluar topic is the education of our children.

My point that you must have missed was simply stated that I personally have one son playing for the Lions and the other son coaching the Woodbury Grammar School boys basketball team and I still believe school should be about education and not a sports program because the reality is 99% of our children to include mine, need the education more than the sports program to succeed in life.

That is why I am in favor of a middle school and building a new High School designed for more than 500 kids.

I am proud of my son for what HE did as a coach last year and I am proud to see my other son play with the Lions again this year.

But, I am more proud of what they do academically because that is what will truly make the difference in their lives when they get out of school and join the real world.

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