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Bob Putnam, Rodney Page, Laura Keeley, Matt Baker, John C. Cotey, Joey Knight

The Atlantic's case against high school sports

I finally read The Atlantic’s recent cover story, “The Case Against High School Sports,” which includes a quick shout-out to Pasco County, and the magazine’s counter-point, “High School Sports Aren’t Killing Academics.”

The anti-sports story repeats the arguments you’ve heard before:

* Schools place too much of an emphasis on athletics

* District waste too much money on sports instead of using that money for academics

* Schools in other countries don’t have high school sports, and their kids do better on tests

* Coaches focus on coaching and not enough on teaching

I think those points are worthy of community discussion, even if I disagree on the last part.

To me, the most interesting argument was this: High school sports are bad for those who don’t play them. It cites a study on the University of Oregon that showed that when the Ducks’ football team did well, the men on campus got poorer grades. …

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Kentucky staying away from postgame handshakes

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association is telling its teams not to participate in postgame handshakes. Here's a story from the Louisville Courier-Journal about that.

Kentucky's governing body isn't making it illegal - just cautioning against it. The state cited more than 20 fights or confrontations in the last three years as justification for the new directive.

To recap: Because too many people were bad sports, the state decided to do away with something that promotes good sportsmanship. Got it? 

Call me new-school. I grew up in a society where handshakes were as much of a part of youth sports as orange slices, so I like the display of sportsmanship. I think it teaches an important lesson about losing with class.

Competition is part of my job, and I hate to lose. Just ask my wife about her Scrabble victories. But sometimes in my business, I strike out. It happens. The next day, I'll see reporters from competing news companies. I can be a jerk and sulk, or I can be cordial with the guys and girls on the other side. …

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Suing because your kid is stuck on JV

I just stumbled on this story from USA Today: A New York hockey family is suing a school district because a player was kept on the JV team for four years... "in spite of his advanced skills."

Sigh.

Check out USA Today's story here.

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Oct. 7 rankings roundup

A couple rankings to update on a yucky Monday morning:

Armwood remains the only local team nationally ranked by Rivals. The idle Hawks jumped five spots, to No. 80, in the RivalsHigh 100. 

I'm a voter in FloridaHSFootball's weekly media polls. Here's my ballot for the week - one for the top 20 big schools, one for the top 20 small schools. How'd I do? 

Large schools (Classes 5A-8A)

1. Miami Central

2. Manatee

3. St. Thomas Aquinas

4. Apopka

5. Armwood

6. Tallahassee Godby

7. Dwyer

8. Miramar

9. Orlando Dr. Phillips

10. Lake City Columbia

11. East Lake

12. Lakeland

13. Sickles

14. Largo

15. Plantation American Heritage

16. Pensacola Catholic

17. Tallahassee Lincoln

18. Niceville

19. Plant

20. Bushnell South Sumter


Small Schools (Classes A-4A)

1. Miami Booker T. Washington

2. University School

3. Jacksonville Trinity Christian

4. Cocoa

5. Jacksonville Raines

6. Tampa Catholic

7. Jacksonville Bolles

8. Clearwater Central Catholic

9. North Florida Christian

10. Jacksonville University Christian

11. Gulliver Prep

12. Warner Christian

13. Ocala Trinity Catholic

14. Glades Central

15. Pahokee

16. Delray Beach American Heritage

17. Glades Day

18. Hialeah Champagnat

19. Blountstown

20. Dixie County 

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