LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Questions school sports practices

Sep 3, 2012

It is pay to play, I get that; but if we don't let all the kids play, how fair is that and how are they going to learn?

I heard from a reliable source that if your child didn't go through the program from a young age, or missed weightlifting, he or she won't play or make the team, which is not acceptable!

Just remember who you work for, coaches of Grand Haven, and respect all the kids and give them a fair chance. What a shame if this is how our children are treated.

Have any other parents dealt with this issue?

Jake Vermurlen
Grand Haven

Comments

pike84

Jake, you should probably ask your friends and neighbors before you bust out a letter to the editor. First off the sports boosters have scholarships available so no child who is economically disadvantaged does not get to play. Second off there are only so many spots on a team and your son/daughter may not make the cuts. You can't have a basketball team with 68 kids on it. As for weightlifting it is highly recommended for safety reasons and for competition. If the team does weightlifting then your son/daughter would be required to. I doubt a coach would not let someone on the team because they missed a few weightlifting sessions.
As for you calling out the coaches it is my opinion that the coaches in GH are professional, give a lot of time and extra efforts in their jobs. Cutting kids is the hardest thing they have to do and every coach will tell you that! They know who they work for and don't need you to remind them. I hope your son/daughter has success but perhaps you should let them go through the high school experience before you start throwing letters around.

sirhansalot

Public schools should stop wasting the tax payers money on sports and leave to it the local communities to have a clubs/ teams that kids can join and learn all the wonderful things that athletics can bring like they do in Europe. The cost of the fields, stadiums uniforms transportation ect… are taking the money away from core education and using it for extracurricular activities that can done in a non school environment.

pike84

WRONG!

newspaperlawyer

Pike 84 why should Jake check with his neighbors... This practice has been going on for years.. I will say the coaches do a bang up job with what they have to work with... but I do know that old Coach Al would not select anyone on his team unless they attended his basketball camp... I have seen first hand that if you had money and sucked up to the coach you made the team and even played when you should of sat the bench.

PeopleAreAmazing

When you have to use the term "old Coach Al" as your evidence - it suggests you might not be up to speed with the current situation. Sports are like life - sometimes you have to deal with adversity, in different forms. For some, the adversity comes from not making the team. For others, it's learning to deal with loss. For still others, it might be to watch someone else less deserving get playing time for a seemingly invisible reason. High school coaches are not perfect- they, like the rest of us - make mistakes. They, like the rest of us, have favorites. They, like the rest of us, are human. I am appreciative of the time and effort that all of our coaches devote to our evolving and improving sports programs. High school sports are ONE way to get the experience. It isn't for everyone. For some, like Jake, the cost doesn't make sense. That's perfectly fine. If his son/daughter doesn't particularly have the interest in working at a chosen sport year round, they certainly don't have to. But, at the same time, the rest of the children who do, will continue to improve, will continue to show commitment, will continue to show a desire to be part of a successful program, and will ultimately be rewarded by being members of a team. I'd suggest that the lessons, both positive and negative, that I have learned over the years as part of my athletic career, continue to provide a solid foundation from which I draw perspective from when the clouds form on my horizon. So, I encourage you to look at a much bigger picture than the one that suggests disappointment in the fact that your child may not play because they aren't working year round. - and work to use it as a means to be part of the education they receive in school, or use it to encourage them to get into the weight room and gym and change it. Don't expect the rest of the world to slow down just because you don't feel your child should have to work that hard.

pike84

He should talk to his neighbors because in my opinion he doesn't know what he is talking about. Assuming his neighbors and friends have kids that have been in high school they could explain how it works instead of coming out with his threat to the coaches. Just like you bringing up some coach that doesn't coach anymore. Sucking up to the coach doesn't work, perhaps in years past I guess it might have.
The fact is playing high school sports these days takes a lot of committment and dedication to make the team. If you look at teams today you have most of the players playing club also in a sport they like. They get better playing club and working out. Then you got Jake Jr thinks he's going to walk onto the court and beat some players out of a spot. Perhaps we will if he/she is that talented, but years of club experience and good coaching that other kids have had will put him/her at a disadvantage.
You don't do well in the OK Red and win several state championships in the last few years with out big time committments from the kids. What Jake should be telling his kid is to step up because the challenges will be great but with hard work and dedication you can increase the odds of making the team.....but Big Jake would rather threaten all the coaches with who the boss is...

Interested Citiizen

I can't believe someone would actually write that letter. You want the coaches to give all the players a 'fair chance.' This isn't Tri - Cities Kids League, Jake. It's a high school team that competes in one of the best conferences in the state of Michigan. Have you not been to a football, basketball (especially girls), soccer game in the past few years? To make a Grand Haven team you have to work hard and be dedicated, just like if you wanted to be a classroom leader. Sounds like you missed the boat somewhere Jake and now you want to blame the coaches. Blame yourself for not having more sense to understand the system and have your child mentally prepped on what it takes to make a team. You can't enter the 9th grade without ever playing a musical instrument and expect to be showcased in the fall concert. Should some parent blame the music teacher for that?

jbvermurlen

Never said it was tckl you did. I have been around and seen it

DKS523

Way to go Jake! (sarcasm)

Both of my sons were in sports. The parents who complained that their sons were not playing were parents of sons who did not put the effort in to the sport. You are saying to your son that it does not matter how much work you put in to it, you have the right to play.

By making your opinion public.. you put a HUGE target on your son's back... "there is Jake's son... he wrote to the Tribune instead of talking to the Coach"

way to go, Dad!

jbvermurlen

my son has nothing to do with this and is not playing sports this is about all the kids that are trying out and or playing on a team!!! so dont assume this is about my son playing wrong choiceof words

jbvermurlen

YOU WONDER WHY THERE IS BULLYING IN SCHOOL WITH REMARKS THAT PARENTS MAKE

DKS523

I did not mention, nor did I think of bullying when I made my comment. I should not have used "target". You wrote to the Newspaper and publicly criticized the coaches and reminded them who they work for. Do you think that they don't remember that? If I was a coach, your comments would always stay in the back of my mind. It would be hard for me to not think of that when I was around your child. That is why I am not a coach. The coaching staff at the high school is amazing, yet you criticized them before even meeting them, based on some "reliable" source. You totally overreacted.

jbvermurlen

I did not put them down I asked for a fair chance for all the kids

DKS523

Jake... you asked for a fair chance. I kind of understand what you mean. If your child was not involved in the sport from middle school on, and you did not know that, it makes a difference... that is where your confusion comes in. One of my sons did not go in to a sport until he was in 9th grade. He went to the weight room... did everything the coach asked of him... and he did really well in sports. I have known from experience that every kid gets a fair chance in sports at the high school. Everyone tries out for the sport, and those with the best abilities, win. BUT, it does not mean that your child could not catch up and excel along with them.

jbvermurlen

For the last time MY SON IS NOT PLAYING SPORTS!! ok this if for all the parents that i have talked to with there kids in sports at the high school level. They dont want to stand up and get marked so i said i will say something. I appreciate the coaches they do a great job its about letting the kids that sit the bench or dont play hardly at all thats it. There are alot of parents that see it u would be surprised. and thank for saying sorry for using target

PeopleAreAmazing

Please don't yell. Thank you.

jbvermurlen

If you would all relax take a breath and read it slow. I understand there is only so many spots thats fine. a kid goes out there hard all day everyday and doesnt get a chance to play I just dont thnk its fair. And for the personal attacks on my son who has nothing to do with this and should be left out of my letter. This has nothing to do with tckl and that was uncalled for for bring there name in to this. This is my opinion from what i have heard and from other parents which are alot. I did not put the coaches down, I asked them for a fair chance for all the kids and they work for them(the kids). If this letter gets one kid to play a down, hit a baseball and score a goal or get them off the bench then my work is done. so just remember its about the kids not you as parents.

43°North

Jake, you need to volunteer your spare time to the sport you would like your child to compete in. If a parent is involved with and develops their child's interests from a young age, the child is ready to play sports at the High School level. If the child has not gone through the system and procedures laid out by the coaches for the sport in question, it is entirely possible the child will not be ready for play at this level. Weight lifting seems to be integral to sports today. Any parent knows this before signing their kid up for 9th grade. If the child has abilities and grit, they will be spotted and used in regular play by the coaches.

as for leaving your kid out of it...you are the one who brought him into it in your first sentence, so don't blast people for pointing out the obvious. And that is that YOU have painted a bulls-eye on your kid's back for the jocks at school with this letter.

realitycheck

I would like to start with that Jake never stated his son was in sports or had the desire to play. His statement was in reference that his son is in 9th grade at Grand Haven High School, and what he heard regarding the sporting program. He was disappointed and rightfully so. How would you know if a parent doesn't spend time playing sports with their children in there spare time. Yes, getting one's child involved in sport clinics always helps with the development of a sport. There should not be a system or procedures laid out by coaches to be able to try-out or make a team. Try-outs should be the deciding factor to making a team, not if a child was involved in a clinic or not.
You stated" Weight lifting seems to be integral to sports today. Any parent knows this before signing their kid up for 9th grade". I did not know this. So I guess not every parent knows.
I believe Jake is standing up for those children that do not have a fair chance to try-out or play. I believe he is also speaking for many parents that are scared to share publicly the same feelings about this issue. I didn't want to bring his son up in this but you said "And that is that YOU have painted a bulls-eye on your kid's back for the jocks at school with this letter", his son should not be a target at school for any reason this is not his opinion it's his fathers. So I hope the "jocks" would be the adults in this situation and set an example for the rest of school. Because if they didn't that would be considered bullying and those who choose to target him for this, should be ashamed and properly dealt with for bullying. Grand Haven Public Schools has a zero tolerance for bullying.

43°North

my bad for having an opinion different from yours...you joined just to call me out??? If Jake HAD been involved in his kids sports program, he would have known the program and not been surprised. I don't make the rules, but by the time your kid is in 9th grade (what 14 years old??), you or your kid had better have a clue what is required.

Teenagers acting like adults? Where did you grow up?

realitycheck

You are allowed your opinion, just like everyone else on here. I didn't join to call you out, I was under the impression that anyone could join. And again I will say Jake never said he son was involved in the sport program, he is giving his opinion. I would expect my child to act like an adult when this type of situation arises, and make the right decision when it comes to how one would treat others. I have brought my child up to treat others with respect regardless of the situation. Teenagers will be teenagers, but there comes a time when they need to act and think like adults, when it comes to decision making and how they treat others.This is just my opinion. I did grow up in Grand Haven and attended Grand Haven Public Schools.

jbvermurlen

43 I understand where you are coming from and i have coached in the past but you never know when you play a kid in a game that doesnt play he might surprise u

jbvermurlen

atleast i can hold my head up high in this great country of ours and voice my opinion and not hide behind a screen name

43°North

ya got cahonies, I give ya that!

polarize

Kudos Jake! Regardless of whether you're right or wrong it's obvious that the good ol boy network is still alive and well here in Grand Haven. Judging from the comments here (and most other articles in the Tribune) there are some who must feel powerful and important just being contrite towards those who only wish to voice a suggestion. Maybe I should convince myself that I'm now an expert on everything while suggesting that your son is now marked. Gee I wonder where the real bullies are now. Children learn from their parents. Lol Keep your chin up Jake and your courage is admired and appreciated.

jbvermurlen

Thank you for standing behind me. My son had a great day at school too

PeopleAreAmazing

While I agree with you that some of the comments here have crossed the border from being thoughtful dissenters to being personal attacks......I question your conclusion that "the good old boy network is alive and well" here in Grand Haven. Are YOU suggesting that because some of us have differing views.....that we are somehow part of a network of people who are trying to control our sports programs? That's ridiculous. I'm a father of children involved with the sports programs....and have been for years.....and I've yet to come across anything that resembles a "good old boy" network. Through the years, I have been pleased with some aspects of our sports programs and disappointed with others. It's a part of life. Please, just because we disagree - do you have to play the conspiracy card?

PeopleAreAmazing

Uhhh......Go Bucs !?!?!?

freezinginmi

I agree with jake its about the kids plan and simple

PeopleAreAmazing

What do you mean.....it's for the kids?

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