The thought of no high school sports in Duval County is depressing, disgusting, embarrassing and shameful. I’m willing to help lead the charge to find solutions to the budget mess that is endangering our sports programs.

That said, I’m bothered by the well-intended folks who say we must continue to have high school sports for the sake of future scholarship winners and those who’d become likely dropouts without athletics. Earning scholarships and motivating young people to stay in school are, indeed, important. Very important. But students who fall into those categories make up, I think, a small minority of our high school students.

First and foremost I’m concerned about the vast majority of students who benefit from athletics. I’m talking about the ones who’ll never play after high school and the ones who strive for achievement in the classroom because they WANT to learn.

High school sports is a significant part of our educational system. As corny as it may sound, they do teach our young how to win, how to lose, teamwork, setting goals, living within established rules, motivating themselves and physical conditioning.

And sports creates memories that last a lifetime.

Without sports our educational system won’t collapse. But it will suffer. I don’t want to even imagine how much it will suffer.


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