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Pines’ athletes deserve more support PDF Print E-mail

Letter to the Editor:

The building was just one year old, the paint still fresh on the walls. Sitting in the auditorium as a freshman moving over 150 miles to a new district, I was anxious to say the least.

As the then Principal Pat Sullivan addressed the student body, many things stood out to this bright-eyed freshman. He told the student body to cherish our time because it goes all too fast. As students, he urged us to represent the school district well and in years to come be proud to declare ourselves alumni of Northland Pines High School.

Throughout my high school career, I tried to take advantage of the many opportunities that the school and community offered. One thing I tried to promote was school spirit. In my tenure as an Eagle, I found a few loyal friends and myself at many sporting events cheering on our peers.

Now, Northland Pines has never been known as any sort of juggernaut at sports other than hockey, but that never stopped us. From painting our chests to traveling 3-plus hours to away games for most every sport, we were very dedicated. Sure, we may have been a little unruly and rowdy at times, but that is precisely what high school sports are all about. During and after competitions, parents and student athletes alike complimented us in our efforts and let our band of diehard fans know that our cheers really made a difference. Every step of the way, however, administration and faculty tried to put a damper on our spirits.

During my time at Pines, the bleachers most always sat empty. Aside from parents and my personal group of “misfits” we called a student section, attendance was sparse.

Fast-forward to now and the tides are changing in the athletic world. With the newfound success of most teams, attendance is on the rise. In recent weeks, I have been informed that school authorities at Northland Pines are directly restricting fans from supporting athletes. It is both frustrating and disappointing that students of Northland Pines are being told in some instances not to show up to games and not participate in cheers that have been a mainstay in sports.

Today’s society is shifting to include everyone as “winners.” Those who participate, win medals and everyone is equal in competition. This is just simply not the case. Athletes step out on the field, hardwood or ice to win. The simple reality of the situation is one team wins and one team loses. In the words of former NFL coach Herm Edwards, “You play to win the game.”

The current system is failing. At no point in a child’s educational career should leaders of the school tell them not to attend sporting events in fear that they might say something that would hurt the other team’s feelings. With restrictions and limits put on student cheering sections, it simply discourages people from attending games.

I urge the administration to re-evaluate their policies and hope they foster an environment where school spirit flourishes. We should strive to be great both on the field and in the classroom. By working in tandem with students, I believe the administration can create one of the best student sections in all of the Great Northern and West-PAC conferences.

As community members, we must attend sporting events and support the athletes, coaches and fans alike. Be proud to be a member of this great community of Eagle River and the family that is Northland Pines.

Andrew Ambrosius

Duluth, Minn. and Eagle River

Proud alumnus of Northland Pines

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:36 PM

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