Local athletes learning life’s essential skills

More often than not, a sports team is judged on how many games it wins. That’s not always fair.
Aug 21, 2014


There’s more to being a member of a team than scoring touchdowns, swishing free throws or scoring goals.

A tremendous example is the Grand Haven varsity football team.

The Buccaneers’ new head coach, Jason Duram, was contacted earlier this year by someone from the Grand Haven Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which hosts Tuesdays in Central Park, a weekly summertime concert series in Grand Haven. There was a need for some young, strong bodies to erect the stage for the concerts, then to break down the stage the following morning.

Duram thought it was a great idea and volunteered his charges to handle the job.

Instead of overseeing the project himself, Duram said the team is broken up into groups, and each group has specific dates when its members are responsible for taking care of the work.

“The kids take full responsibility,” the coach said. “It’s their job to run it, to make sure it’s done. The coaches aren’t involved at all, other than taking care of any issues — and really, there have been zero. The kids have done a phenomenal job with it.”

Will this help the Buccaneers score more points when they take the field in their season-opener on Aug. 28 at Fruitport? Probably not.

But it will certainly help the young men on the team learn a great deal about responsibility, work ethic and community service.

The Buccaneers’ football squad isn’t the only one that helps out in its community. Coach David Hulings takes his Western Michigan Christian soccer teams to pack food boxes to feed the hungry. Countless other teams serve their community in other ways.

These are the life lessons our youngsters need. If they become more proficient at dribbling a basketball or blocking an oncoming defender or hitting a backhand winner in the process, that’s wonderful.

If not, they’re still learning much, much more than the skills it takes to win at their respective sport.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty, Fred VandenBrand and Mark Brooky. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



Life lessons are under attack, praying or having chaplains on the field is being challenged, arn't these also life lessons?


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