TIME OUT: Do you support your local school year round?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

One of the things I stated in my very first column was that I recognized football to be the number one sport in the state of Alabama. Alabama, being a state that doesn’t have a professional football team, has come to heavily support the college and high school football teams in their local areas.

During football season, I saw the cross section of entire communities supporting each game everywhere I went. It didn’t matter if I was in Demopolis, Marengo County, Hale County, or any other area that I happened to see a football game.

I’ve come to understand that football is probably number one in bringing in revenue for colleges and high schools. Now that football season is over and basketball season has arrived, have you stopped supporting your school? Do you only support your school during football season?

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The schools in the area you reside in need your support the entire school year. Every school in this area has needs; financial needs in particular, that can only be accomplished through some kind of extra funding. This is where sports can come into play.

Most schools barely break even, especially when you look at some of the cost that is incurred through running a sports team. On the surface it seems football season almost has to take care of getting a school through an entire school year sports wise. It doesn’t, but it has kept some schools from eliminating a sport.

The schools themselves, and I’m referring to public high schools, the cities, and counties do not provide the funding or enough funding for all of the sports to have sufficient uniforms and equipment and other needs to run an effective program.

All of the principals and athletic directors I’ve spoken with throughout the school year have been asked to do a lot with a little. Also, there are numerous coaches that have come out of their own pockets to furnish whatever the program needed.

I’ve been speaking of public schools, but don’t think the independent schools are bulging with overflowing finances. They are having the same challenges with running sports programs.

Let me through in a disclaimer. The most important product for all of the schools is an education for the students that attend, including college.

Sports, is just an avenue for a students to learn discipline, teamwork and much more importantly for a student to take as he or she grows to become a productive citizen in our great country.

Whether you’re fond of a particular sport or not, we as a community must find some way to continue to support our schools all year. There is always something you can do, just call the school’s athletic director, the principal or the headmaster.

See you on the hardwood.