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Local Sports

Positives and a negative

Seeing the positives in life was a lesson I learned early in my life. Most of the grownups in my youth were the “glass half full” type and all of it made an impression on me.

Growing up in a small Kansas rural community and attending a small school, it was important for us — especially in sports — to accentuate the positives. Our teams were hampered in my 12 years of school in my hometown. Yes, we lost games, but we were winners always on and off the field and courts.

I realized in high school how important it was for all of us in our school to have our efforts recognized in area newspapers. It has carried over with me in my journalism career. In an athletic loss, find the positives to lead with, use the negatives to learn from and move forward.

Of course, all is positive right now with area high school athletic teams. We’re through the first week of official practices of fall sports. All teams and individuals at Newton, Baxter, Colfax-Mingo, Lynnville-Sully and Prairie City-Monroe work to have the best 2017 seasons.

Another positive I want to touch on now is how proud the Newton community can be of the Newton High School student athletes, coaches, teachers and administrators. The 2016-2017 year is officially completed in my eyes with the announcement of academic honors by the Cardinal baseball and softball teams.

Throughout each school year, the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Athletic Association recognizes academic excellence to teams with a combined grade point average of 3.00 and above. Some standards are 3.25 and higher for those awards.

Fourteen Newton High teams earned academic achievement excellent awards during the 2016-17 year. For the Cardinal boys it started with the football and cross country teams in the fall followed by the basketball team, the soccer team, the tennis team and the baseball team. For the Cardinal girls, the volleyball, cross country and swim teams kicked it off last fall followed by the basketball, tennis, track, soccer and the softball teams.

This a is reoccurring situation for Newton High’s athletic teams, at least for the four full school years I’ve covered the Cardinals. The standard of education-first among coaches and other NHS extra-ciricular activity sponsors is second to none at Newton.

Well done, Cardinals!

Now, a learning lesson from a negative. This is aimed at the youth, but everyone using social media need to take heed. Social media has become the way of the world. I don’t like it, but it is what it is for our society now.

A softball team of 12-to-14-year old girls learned a very difficult lesson a week ago. Atlee, Virginia, just won a hard-fought 1-0 game against Kirkland, Washington, in a semifinal game of the Little League Junior Softball World Series. This team of 12 players were going to the championship game.

A lapse of judgment led to six of the Atlee players to post a Snapchat photo of themselves standing in the dugout with their middle finger outstretched toward the opponents.

Little League officials stood their ground on sportsmanship, and disqualified Atlee. The post was deleted and an apology made under the guidance of the Atlee team manager.

There is no excuse for this type of behavior by anyone at any age. I heard one person ask what did the other team do before hand as it was said there was a lot of “chirping” going on between teams during the game.

Two wrongs don’t make a right. Unfortunately, people don’t understand social media is not a license to be rude, to bully and be socially unacceptable. We have adults setting poor examples for our youth.

Be mindful how you use social media. What goes on social media outlets might get deleted, but it never really goes away.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets

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