Thursday, April 24, 2008

SD of L's Sports Program in Disarray

Many of us can recall times when McCaskey High School was a strong contender in county and state-wide sports. But not now.

On the positive side, McCaskey youths continue to excel in boys' and girls' basketball with 22 and 5 and 17 and 11 win / loss records respectively during the winter of 2008. Students also compete well in boys' track with a record of 8 and 1 and in cross country with boys 13 and 8 and girls 10 and 11.

Football was 3 and 7, off from past years. Boys' wrestling was 5 and 8.

But, deplorably, the boys' soccer team went 1 and 17 while the girls' were 6 and 10 with 2 ties.

Girls' volleyball was 3 and 14. Girls' tennis 1 and 13. Girls' field hockey 2 and 16.

Boys' baseball 4 and 16. Girls' softball 5 and 14.

Boys' swimming was 1 and 10; girls', 0 and 11.

When it comes to soccer, observers have noted the lack of drills and lessons at the middle school level and the sole reliance on scrimmaging. Spectators at practices fretted that the kids were learning no skills and simply practicing their mistakes.

Moreover, a failure to post the starting date for soccer practice on the McCaskey web site prevented most of the youngsters from attending practice until school started.

It is not enough for coaches to be well-meaning and good players. They need to be versed in teaching skills and team play.

To this end, several soccer coaches from the School District of Lancaster attended a training clinic by ONE on ONE Soccer. McCaskey boosters funded the session. However, an offer by the boosters for additional training and coaching assistance was declined.

Inner-city youngsters have enough problems with self-esteem without belonging to teams that continuously lose. The school district owes more to its youngsters than 1 and 17 and 1 and 13 records. It isn't the kids. It's the athletic program!

NewsLanc will continue to explore the issue of the breakdown of the SD of L sports program. We are not suggesting lack of zeal or commitment; rather a failure to teach the teachers and possible reluctance of coaches to learn.