Reflecting on a decision made long ago - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Tukee Talk

Reflecting on a decision made long ago

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Jason P. Skoda is the sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Contact him at (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com

Related Stories

Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 9:00 am | Updated: 10:13 am, Tue Feb 7, 2012.

I worked for a high school for three months as a freshmen wrestling coach and there were two incidents in that short time that convinced me that it wasn't going to be a long stay.

The first came after we got back from a road wrestling match. The weather was typical January nastiness in Ohio. Not quite snow, not really rain. Just sludge falling from the sky.

Everyone was gone other than one of the girls who was a mat maid (keeps stats, helps the athletic trainer and various other jobs) and she was waiting it out in the bad weather for her ride home.

No umbrella, no lighting and no cover.

So I invited her to sit in my car with the heat on until her mom or dad showed up.

I didn't think twice about it. A car showed up, she got out and left. I mentioned it the next day to the head coach and he freaked out.

He told me to never do that again because all it would take is one phone call from one paranoid parent and I could have been in deep trouble. Like my word versus their word type trouble. And here I thought I was doing what anyone would do in that situation.

Then later in the year, I was helping coach the junior varsity at a tournament when a father pulled me aside and wanted to know how his son, who was a junior and went 1-2 in a JV tournament, was going to get a scholarship?

OK, your son can't make varsity as a junior, can't even place in a tournament for the JV and you want to know how he can get a scholarship? Well, apparently he doesn't come from the most astute stock so let's focus on financial aid instead.

The father was delusional about his son's ability. I can't even imagine what a varsity coach, who has athletes who are truly viable scholarship candidates, have to deal with. It can't be fun.

After reading about, seeing firsthand, and being told of several incidents over the last few months at our local high schools in Ahwatukee, I don't think they could ever pay me enough to be a school administrator and/or coach.

I'll continue going to high school sporting events and get paid for it, thank you very much.

I had three sources confirm an incident that happened at Mountain Pointe on Sept. 17 involving a parent from the football program.

It was the third incident, or reaction, to multiple incidents that had me shaking my head and envisioning principals and athletic directors sitting in their offices just shuttering every time the their phone rings or they receive a text message.

The first thing that had me very grateful I chose journalism and not education was the fact that Desert Vista has had to cancel all school dances, other than homecoming and prom, because of past incidents.

It is why they have had a DJ at home football games for the student section. It was considered a compromise. No dances, but a chance to get in the stands and move and groove.

Of course, when the Cee Lo Green "Forget You" song was played, and the student section sang the explicit lyric version, it showed there were still some flaws.

And, then, there was the incident during the Ahwatukee Bowl when it looked like the two student bodies - when actually it was a fight between two girls from the same school from what I am told - came together and the police had to step in to nip an ugly incident in the bud before it became tragic.

It was odd seeing Mountain Pointe Principal Bruce Kipper sprint from the field and get over the fence to help squash the situation.

Guessing he knows it's part of the job this far into his career, but it is also the same thing that could make someone rethink what they are doing. In today's litigious society, all it takes is one wrong move to end it all anyway.

Then there is the most recent one.

From what I have been told - and had confirmed from two other sources who wanted to remain anonymous - a version of "your momma" jokes started on the Pride's bus on the way home from a recent filming of "Friday Night Fever," and turned into a situation where a parent came to practice the next day and had words with someone within the program.

What happened from there - and the result from it - haven't been confirmed, but that is not the point.

The point is: What will it take before someone who got into education and/or coaching for the kids says you know what, 90 percent of the job is still great, but that 10 percent is killing my desire to keep doing it?

And you can't blame them.

Someone like Mountain Pointe's Norris Vaughan has more than 200 career victories, his kids are grown, he has a patient wife, and he has a golf game that most of us would die for, which loses its precision during the football season.

Why not take a page from Cee Lo Green and say, "Forget You?" I know I'd think about it.

When I was in high school more than 20 years ago, we went crazy if we saw a glimpse of a bra strap, went to the school we were supposed to attend, a roll of film had to be processed instead of instantly posted, and we had to have a quarter in our pocket to make a phone call.

Does that mean it was better times?

Of course not, but it takes me back to when I made the decision to be a sports writer instead of a teacher.

One of the reasons I made that choice is because I wanted to go to the ballpark every day.

And, more than ever, that seemingly beats spending a full day of work at the school office considering all the outside silliness that has forced its way into their daily schedule.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

[Sponsored] Terri's Consignment: Divorce the sofa

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Calendar

Submit Calendar Event

[Sponsored] Terri's Consignment: Divorce the sofa

Online poll

Loading…