Editor, Ceres Courier,
I would like to request to remain anonymous due to the possible and likely repercussions that could result for my children since they have already been targeted.
Youth sports help a young person learn important life lessons like how to work hard, persevere, be a team player, set goals, and follow rules. Principles are instilled in players, such as how to show consideration, respect and overall concern for not only your teammates yet your opponents as well.
I – as do most parents, coaches and fans – believe in celebrating these lessons and principles in hopes they stay with and are continued to be an active part of these youths well beyond Pee Wee level sports though high school sports and beyond into their college pursuits and careers in adulthood.
I am reaching out as a concerned parent, a former coach and community member for it has been brought to my attention that the high school football players and cheerleaders were directed to no longer “take a knee” when a player is down on the field. Specifically it’s been addressed as a Pee Wee level practice and to “not be tolerated” if it continues.
Also, that boasting of the exceptional performance of the frosh/ soph team and their winning record will “not be tolerated” for they should not be proud since “no one cares if frosh/soph wins.” This mindset that, since they do not have any playoffs, their victories are not worth celebrating or even noting is disheartening and damages these young people’s perspective on efforts, their principles and their overall character development.
Currently the Ceres High frosh/soph Bulldogs football team is 4-1 and has been playing spectacularly as a team! Showing heart, and great character on and off the field to each other and their opponents!
I believe, as do many others in our community, that they should be celebrated, their efforts are noteworthy and that they should be allowed to take knee for players who are down on the field. For these are the character building and principal instilling reasons we put our youth into organized sports. They should be proud of their achievements and humble as well as concerned and considerate when their teammates and their opponents are down.
Let us as a community make this known to those who do not understand that we do not agree with their attempts hinder or revoke such fundamental aspects of organized sports and help them to understand and celebrate the value of such fundamental ethical and character reinforcement by allowing these high school students the ability to celebrate when merited and be respectful and considerate when someone is in need.
Both football players and cheerleaders alike continued to take a knee when a player is down on the field in every game this season, pre-season games as well even after being told to stop doing it after the second game of the season. This, of course, results in other players and the all the cheerleaders to do the same.
Just last Friday their continued act of respect and consideration resulted in all the players during the frosh/soph game against Beyer High School played at Johansen to take a knee. This was so moving that the announcer, the coaches and all in attendance exclaimed our appreciation.
Everyone could not help yet feel connected and more and more camaraderie was shown between the teams.
This ultimately resulted in the teams meeting up in the field to huddle together and say a prayer for the players hurt during the game!
These experiences and lessons are invaluable and have a lasting effect on those involved.
Let us keep these aspects in organized sports at all levels, to continue to enrich our experiences and maintain values in our children.
Name Withheld Upon Request,
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