Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Emotion, Energy, and Passion That Make High School Athletics Great


On Friday evening, our community will come together for the first region football battle of North Oconee High School and Oconee County High School. The game promises to be full of emotion, energy, and passion – all the things that make high school athletics great! It will, as all athletic competitions do, have a winner and a loser. Yet, when students look back on the experience of this game, I hope it is the sights, the sounds, and the atmosphere that they remember the most.

Growing up in a two-high-school county and later coaching in one as well, I have had the opportunity to see rivalries done right and wrong. I have seen parents and community members turn against one another based on a game played by teenagers. Yet, I have also seen community members and parents embrace competitive events, cheer for their respective teams with passion and pride, and shake hands at the end of a hard-fought evening understanding that the score is only one component of the experience.

On Friday evening, we have an opportunity to demonstrate what Oconee County is all about. We take great pride in our kids and their educational experiences. Let’s make this event one that they will remember fondly for all the right reasons.

Our two high schools are made up of over 2,000 young people, or roughly six percent of our county’s population. Add two parents for each of those students, for a total of 4,000 people, and 12 percent more of our population is represented. Thus, nearly 20 percent of our county, if not more, has bragging rights at stake Friday evening. I, for one, find this fact to be awesome!

Band members, cheerleaders, and football players alike have circled this one on their calendars since the start of the season. They have looked at November 2 and wondered what it will bring. They have hoped for a memorable experience – a great game, rousing cheers, and perfectly played fight songs. They have hoped to make memories that last and linger.

So, where will you be Friday night? I hope you will join thousands of others to cheer on the Titans and the Warriors. I hope you will arrive early, stay late, and cheer with the passion, the pride, and the class that make Oconee County an educational leader in our state and our nation.

No one hates to lose more than I do, but I am certain that this event is a winner for our community and our students. Come out and support the beginning of a great tradition!

What are your thoughts about competition?

How can our school system encourage more competition? Should we?

I want to know your ideas. Please share them via email at jbranch@oconeeschools.org.

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