FanSpeak 6/19/05

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Reason for success

ALTHOUGH A wonderful article on June 12 discussed the success of private/parochial schools in bringing home state titles or competing at the state level in sports -- despite MSHSAA's discriminatory rule directed at such schools -- we need to quit skirting around the reason for this success. Certainly good coaching and what one coach alluded to as a "sense of family" are significant. However, a far greater role is played by ever-growing number of outstanding scholar-athletes who voluntarily choose to leave public schools for private/parochial institutions.

Bring back steroids?

I KNOW purists will consider this heresy but we have to face the facts. The number of home runs in the major leagues is down significantly compared to this same time of the season four or five years ago and off the pace of last year by hundreds. Is it time to consider bringing back the steroids?

A reason for multiplier

IT WAS interesting to read your article about the success of private schools and how the multiplier hasn't had any great effect on them. That's all well and good when you're talking about high school ball, when they're playing other small schools, even with the multiplier. Many of the times, they're not playing anybody all that bigger than them because most of their games are not conference games. They can play any podunk school and build up a great record, so that really doesn't mean a whole lot. What you might want to look at is how do their kids fare in, say, summer ball or club sports. For example, in baseball, look at American Legion and Babe Ruth and look at how the private school kids are faring when playing against public school kids. The multiplier is not that big a deal and these private school kids are racking up records because they're playing much smaller schools and they recruit, and anyone who says they don't is lying. There is recruiting. It happens all the time in private schools. That's why the multiplier is in effect, and it should be there.

Difference between A and B

I HAVE a question for coaches of travel teams. When you put them together and you have an "A" team and a "B" team, don't you think something is a little odd when you play a team that only has one team and your "A" team consistently loses but your "B" team consistently wins against the same kids? Wouldn't you think then maybe it's a sign that no matter what you may think about your "A" team, some of your "B" team players might be better? I've seen this a whole lot this summer. Wouldn't you think it's time to give your "B" team players a shot?

Bombers fan

I HEAR there's a new minor league baseball team in Sikeston, Mo., called the Bootheel Bombers. I watched the three games they've played and it's pretty interesting baseball. As a matter of fact, they've got some real good talent on the team. I was just curious how come the Southeast Missourian is not covering any of their games. I think you guys ought to start covering the games. A lot of people would go to their games and really get interested and back them if they just knew what was going on. Hopefully, the Southeast Missourian will start covering their games and put publicity in the paper for them. Let's get behind these young men and let's back them. Who knows, we may have another all-star among all of us. So I challenge the newspaper, the Southeast Missourian, I will challenge you to cover these games. How about that? Let's do it; let's back these boys.

(The Southeast Missourian generally yields coverage of sporting events in Sikeston to our media partner, the Sikeston Standard Democrat. Particularly when there is plenty of summer baseball in this area with Capahas, Riverdogs, American Legion and Babe Ruth. Also, the Bombers hadn't had any local players on their roster until Oran graduate Matt Bucher joined the team Thursday.)

Bad review

THE SOUTHEAST Missourian made a poor choice when it decided to write a review of high school sports by comparing public and private schools. They are very different. Public schools must develop teams from athletes in their districts. Private schools can select athletes from all over the region. Also, public schools must educate every child, including the severely disabled. Private schools do not provide any services for special needs students and can refuse to admit anyone that they do not want in their schools. I was very disappointed in the article. The Southeast Missourian owes public schools an apology for its shortsighted article on the review of sports and high schools this past year.

(No doubt the school systems are different, but the Missouri State High School Activities Association puts them on the same playing field. Despite trying to level that playing field with a 35 percent multiplier on private school enrollments for state classifications, 2004-05 was a banner year for private school athletics in Southeast Missouri.)

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