SVCSPORTSZONE INBOX: Fair to label schools with a certain sport?

Is it fair to say that a school is a “football” school or a “basketball” school? Do you really think this is the case? I know you follow SVC sports a lot; do you associate a sport with a school?

RESPONSE: I have heard this “label” used by fans, parents, and even coaches throughout the league. Is it fair? I guess everyone is allowed to have an opinion. Is this really the case? I do think some schools and some communities have a unique connection with some sports, but to say that is all they care about is probably a bit much. For example, Adena could be looked at as a volleyball school, but look at how successful its girls’ basketball, baseball, and football programs have been over the past 20 years.

I feel the better way to describe this is the connection of the school and the community I mentioned in the previous paragraph. For example, I work in the Paint Valley Local School District and Paint Valley has been labeled a football school by many people. In my time teaching and coaching at Paint Valley, I do not believe the school has done that much to favor football; however, I have noticed a huge support from the community. Paint Valley has a long line of tradition that goes far beyond winning and losing. I have noticed a long line of former players who still live in the community that makes it a high priority to support the program and serve as an ambassador of sorts.

If you are going to look at the school itself in this question, I think Adena is a great place to look. The reason I feel this way is because Adena is a small enrollment school that has found a way to consistently compete with the bigger schools in the major sports. Adena has seemed to do a great job of offering all its students an opportunity to play any sport possible while keeping great consistency in coaches in many of the major sports particularly in the fall and spring.

It is hard to know what the reality is without being really involved with a school long term. I know as a kid in the 1990s that I felt Unioto was a basketball/baseball school; whereas, I now see it has a much, much bigger school where athletes are being forced (for a lack of a better term) to specialize in a particular sport. I would say each perspective gives a different opinion.

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