Our schools boast talented athletes

What can you say about a high school that has produced a dozen girls’ soccer championships but has barely been open 20 years?

Well, first, the school – naturally we’re talking about Souhegan in Amherst – obviously has some talented athletes. And, second, it has obviously had some talented coaches.

But we think there’s more to it than that.

One of the things that makes any high school athletic program successful is commitment, and not just on the part of the kids and the coaches. Parents have to be committed, too, because often it is the parents who are the drivers – literally. They drive the kids to practice, they drive the kids to games, and they attend those games, sometimes on week nights when they have to go to work the next day.

It is impossible, we believe, to have any kind of championship athletic program without the commitment of parents. The athletes get the applause and they deserve it, but Mom and Dad deserve some, too.

The Souhegan girls’ soccer team is only our most recent champion. All of our schools – Souhegan, Milford, Wilton-
Lyndeborough – are in the thick of the fight for athletic championships year after year.

One of the things that we especially like is that such commitment isn’t gender-
specific. In college, for instance, men’s sports seem to be taken much more seriously, at least by the general public, than women’s. That doesn’t seem to be the case at our local high schools, where female athletes seem to be accorded the same degree of respect as males. That certainly is true when it comes to newspaper coverage of local sports. Our local papers – weeklies and dailies – show equal respect for both.

The schools do, too, and that is important.

Oh, sure, football will always be king, because that is just the way it is in our country. We like every sport, but we love football and can’t get enough of it.

But it seems clear, at least to us, that in our high schools, all the other sports are respected, too.

They might not draw the crowds that football games do, but at least within the walls of our schools, these other sports do draw the respect they deserve.