If it’s wearing orange and black …

By: 
Sonja Karp

… I’m cheering for it. 

 

P

at Hayman, former Dogie cross country and track coach, used to say this all the time, and as we draw nearer to the end of high school sports for 2020-2021, and look forward to the off-season training opportunities the summer provides, it’s something to think about as the different sports vie for athletes.

We are a relatively small school with a limited number of athletes, and when you combine that with several sports from which to choose in each season, it means that we have to share athletes.

In the fall, young men have the choice to play football, rodeo or run cross country. The ladies can play volleyball, swim or run cross country. 

In winter, the men have the most options with basketball, wrestling and swimming, while the girls have only basketball — at least as a school sanctioned sport. We also throw in indoor soccer and indoor track into the mix for both genders.

The spring is a little more limited with boys and girls soccer and track as sanctioned seasons, but baseball also gets its start and there is rodeo, club volleyball, swimming and basketball that are options as well.

The summer is when things get a little challenging when it comes to scheduling off-season work. All of the sports, regardless of season, are hoping to get their players into some sort of summer work, whether that involves skill development or training opportunities. 

HIIT training, or weight room training, as well as individual and team camps or leagues take place for fall, winter and spring sports. Meanwhile, rodeo and baseball are still competing in their seasons.

Unfortunately, that can mean that one kid is being pulled in several directions at once and that coaches can become covetous of time with their athletes and teams. 

When coaches compete with each other over summer training schedules, it can result in ill feelings developing between sports.

In a school this size, that can’t happen. When coaches feel competitive of athletes, their feelings sometimes show and come off as being derisive toward one sport or another. Those opinions will ultimately make their way to the sport in question’s athletes, coaches, parents and fans.

We’re not a big enough place to create that kind of environment. All the sports teams need to work together because united we stand and divided we fall. If we want our programs to be successful, we need to make sure that we are lifting up every sport and every athlete, and doing what we each can to make every program as successful as possible. 

That means we have to share, and must be cognizant that each coach needs to have time to work with and develop their athletes. By allowing that, we will make all of our programs better.

Also, during the season it would be great to see athletes from other programs supporting the ones who are on the court, the field, the mat, the pool or the arena. A full student section and a stand full of fans goes a long way toward lifting up those who are competing, and it’s just plain fun.

So, I think we could all adopt Coach Hayman’s philosophy that if it’s wearing orange and black (maybe wearing a Dogie head as well), I’m cheering for it.

Go Dogies!

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