I love Price. I was born and raised here. I very much cherish and value the experiences I had growing up in Price and attending Carbon High School. I was a three sport athlete and feel that many of the experiences I had during that time have contributed to who I am today. I no longer live in Price but visit family often and still check the box scores in the paper. So some recent events have greatly disturbed me.
My first experience was opening the paper to the article in the Salt Lake Tribune spotlighting the Carbon High football team. I am not sure the intent of the article, but it seemed to me they were kicking a program while it was down. A lot about the article bothered me. The general attitude of all involved was a little disappointing.
The other experience I had was Friday when I was in Price. We were listening to the Carbon High football game on the radio, and I was appalled at the comments being made by the color commentator. I don't even know his name but the personal cuts he was making on the kids was, I feel, unacceptable. How may I ask do negative, degrading comments directed at these kids help a struggling program? It struck me that the problem with the Carbon football team is not solely embedded within the program. It stems from the entire community.
So where does the blame lie? Well, you might hear things like, it is the coaches' fault. It is a lack of talent. Everybody is against us. We can't get kids out to play.
I say to that, bologna. The blame lies in every member of the community. It lies in the athletes walking in the hall who are too afraid to be a part of a "losing program." It is in the parents who think their child is not getting a "fair shake" so there is no way they are going to play. It is in the radio station who degrades a team by saying they will give cinnamon rolls to everybody if the team scores 14 points. It lies in the player who doesn't give his all as part of a team. It is in the students who walk down the hall and makes fun of what they themselves are a part of, Carbon High School. Since when did it become acceptable to settle for this?
Both my husband and I have coached at the high school level. We have been involved in programs at different schools. What we have seen in those programs was, when successful, there was a sense of ownership and pride from the top to the bottom. The parents were supportive of coaches. The players were supportive of each other. The community was supportive of the school. And the kids put in the effort to make themselves better by practicing hard, being respectful of coaches and teammates, lifting weights, and preparing mentally.
It takes courage and pride to turn something like this around and it takes an entire community to do it. If we find some courage and some pride and everybody steps up then the wins will start coming. More importantly we will start turning the attitude from one that everybody is running away from to one that everybody is running towards. We will also be teaching our young people a valuable lesson of what it means to have pride in where they are from and, more importantly, the courage to overcome the hard things in life.
Carbon High School has been a part of my family for over 80 years. It is time to step up and quit placing the blame on everyone else. We are all to blame. Let's make a difference. If you are an athlete get out and play. Put in the effort to get better, encourage your team and quit being so selfish. If you are a parent be positive with kids and coaches. Coaches put in the effort to teach your kids what they need to know, teach them respect and discipline. Radio stations should be supportive and not degrading.
The only way the forecast will ever change is if we look at ourselves and get the courage to stand up and take some pride in this community.