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“IT’S A BROTHERHOOD, IT REALLY IS”

If We Don’t Have High School Sports, We Lose A Lot More Than Just A Game

If we don’t have high school sports – if the season, already delayed a month to Sept. 21, isn’t able to start by then or even be played in its entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic – we lose more than just an athletic contest.

If we don’t have the band, drama, the debate club – any extracurricular activity, really – we lose more than just music, the school play, or thoughtful, passionate arguments.

We lose essential elements of the schooling process that extend far beyond the classroom.

We lose …. Life.


READ MORE: FALL HS SPORTS DELAYED UNTIL SEPT. 21

READ MORE: RICH THOMASELLI COMMENTARY: STATE DECISION ON FALL HS SPORTS IS A *&#^@(!* MESS


In the midst of the cancellation of the end of the 2020 winter postseason and the entire spring season, we forgot what we were really losing. As schools went to strictly online learning, our great student-athletes sacrificed so much more.

Correction – our great students. Period.

Rich Thomaselli Commentary

No sports, no band, no cheerleaders, no budding thespians from the drama club, no financial analysts from the economics club, no yearbook staff to chronicle what should be the memories of a lifetime. We lost the very components of what defined – and in many cases enhanced – the high school experience.

Because things like athletics are necessary to the development of the next generation, teaching them tenets of life that simply can’t be learned in a classroom.

Trust.

Responsibility.

Camaraderie.

Bonding.

Friendship.

Acceptance.

Mental acuity.

Time management.

Character-building.

Tolerance.

Leadership.

Mentoring.

Diversity.

Diligence.

Teamwork.

Accountability.

Need I go on?

“You know, 90 percent of these kids need sports,” Ellenville football coach Dan Cavanagh said. “For motivational purposes, for socialization, to get back to a norm, to be around people. That’s a big thing too, just to be around people.”

Arlington girls basketball star Mia Castillo said being part of a team is “like having a second family. We’re really a tight-knit group, and basketball season for me is the best part of the school year because I’m with my best friends six days a week. Practices are always so much fun too because we all work so well together.”

Take away sports, and you take away family. Maybe not blood family, but just as important.

“In the hot days during the summer, experiencing the hell we go through just getting ready for the season, that is really where we create that bond,” John Jay football standout Brayden Rossi said. “It’s a brotherhood, it really is.”

Let’s not sabotage the brotherhood. Let’s not deny our students in any activity the chance to learn and grow. Let’s do what we can to get these youngsters back in school, back on the stage, back behind a podium, and certainly back on the fields and courts and tracks.

Let’s not break up family.

(Our Marist College summer intern Jack Weinberger contributed to this column.)

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