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High School Activities Bring Communities Together

Guest opinion:


By Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School
Associations and Alan Beste, Executive Director of the Iowa High School Athletic

Tailgates. Pep rallies. Friday night lights. The new school year is here! And that’s
exciting news for student-athletes and high school sports fans alike.
Research shows that being a student-athlete is about a lot more than fun and games.
Student-athletes learn important life lessons, too. In fact, high school athletes not
only have higher grade point averages and fewer school absences than non-athletes,
they also develop the kind of work habits and self-discipline skills that help them
become more responsible and productive community members.

Attending high school sporting events teaches important life lessons, too. High
school sports teach that we can live in different communities, come from different
backgrounds, faiths and cultures, cheer for different teams, and still have a common
bond. The joy of watching students participate.

That’s why attending the activities hosted by your high school this fall is so
important. It’s not only an opportunity to cheer for your hometown team, it is also
an opportunity to celebrate what you have in common with other schools and

The bond we share is mutually supporting the teenagers in our respective
communities. We applaud their persistence, tenacity, preparation and hard work,
regardless of the color of the uniform they wear. We acknowledge that education-
based, high school sports are enhancing their lives, and ours, in ways that few other
activities could. And we agree that, regardless of what side of the field we sit on,
attending a high school sporting event should be an uplifting, enriching, family-
friendly experience for all of us.

Many of the high schools in our state lie at the heart of the communities they serve.
Schools are not only educating our next generation of leaders, they also are a place
where we congregate, where people from every corner of town and all walks of life
come together as one. And at no time is this unity more evident than during a high
school athletic event.

This is the beginning of a new school year. Opportunities abound inside and outside
the classroom. Let’s make the most of them by attending as many athletic events at
the high school in our community as possible.

Turn on the lights, and let the games begin!

Risk Minimization

 Guest opinion: The role of risk minimization… Biggest game changer in high school sports By Chad Elsberry, IHSAA Assistant Director As we head into the heart of winter sports with the football season complete, it seems fitting to pause and reflect on student safety as it relates to education-based athletics. The biggest game changer in […] Continue reading →

2015 IHSAA Sportsmanship-Character Poster

 Seth Tuttle Featured on IHSAA Sportsmanship-Character Poster Seth Tuttle, a West Fork, Sheffield prep athlete and basketball star at the University of Northern Iowa, is the featured individual on the 2015-16 IHSAA Sportsmanship-Citizenship posters. This year’s poster is the 24th produced by the IHSAA since starting of the program in 1995 when Ames High and […] Continue reading →

IHSAA Board of Control Tweaks Football Issues

 In its monthly meeting, Wednesday, January 22, the Board of Control acted on football recommendations coming from the Iowa Football Coaches Association and the IHSAA Football Playoff Committee. The recommendations had been tabled by the Board of Control from their December meeting. At the center of discussions and action was a proposed 8-game regular season […] Continue reading →