Nationally, high school sports are still increasing in the number of participants that plays yearly. It has increased every year for the past 16 years with 2010-11 being the most ever. That trend is also prevalent at Morgan high School. If sports are so important, one has to ask the question why? Is it because people value the sports or is it what the sports program can teach our youth? It seems to be the social, emotional and intellectual satisfaction that is gained by the participants. The true purpose of high school sports is to serve the complete educational needs of all students. The preeminent purpose is to harness discipline Ò desire Ò and commitment of all individuals involved. Another lesson that cannot be over looked is that responsibility comes with the privilege of playing. Morgan High School now offers 20 sports and activities sponsored by Utah High School Activities Association. As administrators we know there are other benefits that come to students who participate that include having higher GPAs, better attendance, lower dropout rate, and fewer discipline issues. At Morgan High School our goal is to employ people that are double goal coaches, which not only coach the sport but teach life lessons as well. In the world of high school sports emotions can and often run high. Our coaches are encouraged to teach, practice, and model good sportsmanship. This past year as a member school of UHSAA we were challenged to participate in Raise-the-Bar and Earn-a-Star program by completing the ten requirements outlined on the UHSAA School Sportsmanship Award Application. Morgan High was one of 80 schools that met the award criteria and were approved to Raise the Bar School Sportsmanship Award and will earn their first star to be placed on their School Sportsmanship Banner in August. Our overall goal is to earn FIVE STARS, even if that takes us more than five years. By mid-August, the school will receive a letter of congratulations, an award certificate and the 2011 STAR. Then we start the application process again for the next years School Sportsmanship Award. To receive this award, we will need to up our level of sportsmanship throughout the school and community. It requires tremendous effort by all of our administrators, AD, coaches, students, staff and community members to address the importance of good sportsmanship, positive leadership and ethical behavior in our schools and at all of our events. It will require us to help police ourselves and maintain a home town advantage yet not cross the line of being a poor sport. We believe we do a good job of and have been working hard to teach our student body but we need more help with parents. Parents of our athletes sign an agreement for appropriate behavior. In our zest for winning sometimes we need to be reminded of what is or isn’t appropriate. The following is how we plan to continue to teach and maintain good sportsmanship. We package it, we sell it, and we peddle it to all who are involved with MHS activities. From our coaches we expect that they will walk it Ò talk it Ò chalk it_ From our parents we may need to remind each other what’s appropriate or not. Sportsmanship lessons that our coaches will be emphasizing are: ¢Sports need to teach that it’s more than just a game, it’s more than just a victory or defeat, and it’s about life. It should help us develop a sense of appreciation for a good performance. ¢Sports is something we do, how you treat people is who you are. Kick their tails, yet treat them as guests by using proper conduct before, during, and after the athletic contest. ¢It’s really tough to shake the hand of someone who just beat you, but it’s harder to do it with a smile. It’s simply teaching respect. You don’t have to like it but you should learn from it and work harder because of it. Ask the question what did we learn today? ¢If you expect more, respect more. It’s the mindset, and the attitude you must sell. It is respect for the game, the officials, the opponent, and one’s self. ¢Do rowdy right! Cheer for our team not against the opponent. Stress and promote good crowd decorum and especially negative cheers. Why Sportsmanship: Because It Matters! FYI-for those needing physicals for fall sports that includes (All freshman and juniors and new students): Utah Orthopedic Specialists and Trainer Kelly Anderson will be at the high school June 29 from 5 to 7 pm. Cost is $10 unless you get the concussion exam (Impact test). No appointment is necessary. All proceeds go toward Morgan High Athletic training. We are accepting parental help to do the paperwork however. A second session will be at their clinic in South Ogden August 8th from 5 to 7 pm, if you are unable to arrange the first date. Thanks for your support of MHS!