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Front Page » March 17, 2005 » Sports » Sports View
Published 3,442 days ago

Sports View


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sports editor

Criticism is a good thing as long as it isn't taken too far to really hurt athletes, particularly those that play for fun and not for money.

We often hear all kinds of players criticized for their actions; we also see everyone who has ever played a game, and some who have not, say they could do a better job of coaching a group of kids than a coach they are watching on the field.

Sometimes it is often hard to understand why people do the things they do, whether it be a play that is put in or a call by an official.

But what we all have to remember is that everyone has their own point of view about things and sometimes as sure as we are of ourselves, we can't see the forest for the trees.

That is why I am cautious about what I am going to mention in this column. I'm not sure I am in an educated enough position to write these thoughts down, but I think I should at least put it out there for consideration. The issue deserves at least some thought.

Right after the state basketball championships I noted that the Salt Lake Tribune put an editorial comment on the second page of their sports section that stated we need to do away with so many school classifications in the state. They suggested that rather than having five classifications, there should be three; one for large schools, one for medium schools and one for small schools.

I couldn't agree more.

I realize that by doing that it might mean that Carbon or East Carbon would have less of a chance to get to state or more in particular, win state championships.

I believe the five classification system is more than a decade old now and I think what we have done is diluted some of the competition. True if a school like East Carbon had to compete against schools with up to 600 kids in it, that would seem very unfair. The same would be true of Carbon which would probably then have to play schools with 1200 to 1400 kids in them.

But on the other hand think of the euphoria when the little guys beat the big guys.

Okay what I am about to say will date me but I remember when there were just two classifications in the state; A and B schools. Somewhere along the line someone got "political correctness" and began to worry about a whole classification called "B." Nonetheless my high school competed in this system and at the time it was about the size of Carbon. We played schools with as little as 600 students, but we also had to play the Skylines and Hillcrests which at the time each had 2000 plus students. Somehow when we competed we stayed with them and sometimes even beat them.

I worry that when we pick an all state team now there are 60-70 athletes on the basketball teams from all the classes and that it dilutes the meaningfulness of that designation. It used to be there were 10 or 12 at the most from the whole state.

Certainly I think that all student athletes who work hard and show dedication are winners. And I love covering state tournaments especially when our teams win.

I just think fewer classifications would not only be simpler and also more meaningful.


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