The People Speak!
June 17, 2018
When a person graduates high school, they move forward in their life, even though a big piece of them never really leaves their school. Alumni are always waiting to hear or read about their school sports team so they can poke their chest out and brag to their friends.
How often do you hear people talk about the rating of their school in a conversation? I will wait, because no matter who you are, sports are what cause you to brag about your school when you are alumni. An education is what gets you through school, but sports is what keeps you connected once you leave that school.
As a once-proud alum of Morgan City High School, I think all of us should be concerned and wanting answers to what is happening to our school now. Answers from the principal and the school board office, as to why is it that the biggest school in the parish can’t keep a head coach in baseball or football? Answers to why does the biggest school in the parish have the least amount of coaches on staff? Answers to why the coaches and the principal always clash after the hire? Answers to are the coaches given the resources and a fair opportunity to do their job? Answers to what happened to the booster club that was once a main stay and tremendous help to all the sports programs?
I have attended many sporting events over the past couple of years. The latest events I have watched were the baseball and softball games this year. Both teams were competing hard, with softball making it to the Class 4A championship game (way to go, ladies and coaches). But, with their accomplishment, I noticed one glaring difference from the teams they played each time. The other teams sometimes had three or more faculty coaches on staff, and we had 1.
We did have an assistant, but from the chatter when I asked, they had to fight to get that help. I’m thankful for those that helped the head coach this season, but what happens when their real job needs them, or they can’t make it? How can one coach look after 20 or more kids and prepare them properly to compete and win and at an elevated level?
The same was in football. If you attended games, you could see the difference in coaching staffs. I once stopped by a baseball practice before the start of the season, and the head coach was alone trying to coach 30 kids. That was crazy for a 4A school.
When I played in high school, we had 3 coaches. Is that really helping the kids get better, and how much of a load can one coach handle and still be effective?
I could remember when I attended Morgan City High School. We had a coach for each position and more. Those coaches also kept us focused and disciplined on the field and in the classroom by holding us accountable. Those coaches taught us things and helped us learn how life and a job would be for us. I today still thank my coaches for the man I am today, because I didn’t have a father figure at home.
We also had most of the coaches all 4 years of school and not a different coach each year like what’s happening now. I once asked two former coaches why they left, and the answers they gave me were shocking. They told me they were told sports were not important. That really hurt, because I know without sports I may have never finished school. Sports kept me wanting to go back to school each day and taught me responsibility, team work, accountability and not to give up.
Sports also allow kids that would not have a chance to go college to go and get a higher education and better themselves. Sports also brings the schools moral up. When the teams are doing well, the students' moral is high. So, for me to hear that sports are not important makes me concerned.
I think it needs to be looked at to see what is going on at our High School. We need answers to why coaches don’t want to stay. The last football coach didn’t even stay a semester.
We need answers. Why does the principal not care about the sports program? Why is it getting smaller and worse? We need answers to what the school board thinks of this. You would think they would care about the biggest school in the parish. We need answers to why our kids are getting cheated out of a proper sports experience with so little coaches on staff. Answers to why the booster club has gone away, a program that helped the sports programs with funds that don’t come out the school budget.
We have let this go on for too long, and every alum has the same questions and concerns. We remember the days where the coaches in the halls made sure you didn’t get in trouble and your classwork was done. We remember when we couldn’t wait for game days to shout for our teams and yell green blood.
We know that to build a winning program, you must give the coaches the freedom and support they need to achieve that goal, and it would benefit the kids and school.
But now if you look at other sports teams around us, those same alumni’s kids are the one’s helping those schools they didn’t attend win. You can’t blame them, because of the unrest that is the Morgan City High sports department. The question now is, what will be done, and will our questions get answered? Will there be change, so we can have something to brag about? Or will we be reading about Morgan City High having new head coaches at this time again next year.
Why are our sports programs not given a fair opportunity to receive an ‘A’ rating the same way the principal is pushing for an ‘A’ school rating? Do sports programs not represent the school also? Student-athletes are making the grades to play their sport, so don’t they deserve better from the school they are representing?
(S) Sam Hawkins
Class of 1995