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The Importance of Sports

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Not too long ago, I was paring down on life’s clutter and came across a stack of sports trophies from my youth. I tossed most to the curb, but a handful I kept, one of which was from my first year playing soccer.

In high school, I decided to try my hand (or feet, as it were) at a sport I had loved to watch for years. Lo and behold, in my last year we reached regional championships, which was really cool, but boy, was playing soccer a lesson in humility and courage.

One year, my team awarded me a trophy for Most Valuable Player — a high honor that moved me to tears. It wasn’t for my amazing footwork, I’ll tell you that; instead I believe it was due to my passion for the team, unending optimism, and silly antics in the locker room. I bet Moonshine’s newsroom might say I maintain similar characteristics to this day.

This month, Moonshine takes a dive into the world of local prep sports (here), as it seems a void in this area recently opened. The Ink team is excited about opening this door and request community input on how this special aspect of growing up has impacted your child or someone you know. Email any time day or night.

This new endeavor is well timed as the athletic facilities at Truckee High School just got some major love, including installation of a new track, renovations on a well-used field, construction of a bona fide bathroom, and improved access to the athletic fields from adjacent schools. On April 25, the school was able to host its first-ever track competition, and because it’s a certified track, NIAA records can be set at the site. The improvements, to the tune of $3 million, comprise phase one of Measure U funding, a bond measure voted in by our community a few years ago. It’s exciting to see tax dollars put solid stuff on the ground for our children.

Over on the lakeside, there’s more big news. Enrollment this year jumped up at North Tahoe High School to 397, from a low point of about 310 five years ago. That puts a healthy 150 freshman into the mix and reportedly there’s been a resurgence of interest in prep sports. Truckee High, look out.
That high school soccer experience was my first foray into team sports. I waited so long to join one because they were intimidating to me due to an extreme case of shyness. Being on that team changed me — it taught me how to work with others, to be confident, that I could be a leader, and that doing a healthy afterschool activity kept me out of trouble.

I’m looking forward to putting down in ink our local schools’ sporty tales, so these athletes might one day run across a cherished newspaper clipping or maybe even a trophy reminding them of how far they’ve come.

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May 10, 2018