Many people do not realize the importance of high school sports; let me tell a story. There were two completely different kids that went to the same high school. One of them participated in high school sports from Fall to Spring. This kid kept up with his grades and kept busy with sports and homework. The other kid did not participate in any kind of school sports. The kid who didn’t play any sports went home after school every day, so instead of playing sports or doing homework in the free time available, he had to find something else to keep busy. Having all this free time led trouble. There is no need to go into more depth in the story; the point is that people do not realize that high school sports are a crucial part of being a good student and becoming a successful adult. “The evidence supporting sports participation for young people is overwhelming...It has the power to combat everything from racism to low self-image, to the high-school drop-out rate" (Castle). One of the many benefits of playing high school athletics is that the Student has to sign a code of conduct that will keep the student athlete responsible for his or her actions. “1) Use or possession of tobacco products. 2) Being present more than 5 minutes at a function where alcohol and/or drugs are being consumed/used or have been consumed or used. 3) Use or possession of intoxicating beverages and illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. 4) Committing unlawful acts that have or could have resulted in a misdemeanor or higher penalty. 5) Serious and/or repeated violation of school rules. 6) Serious and/or repeated unsportsmanlike conduct.” This is a list of the rules that must be strictly followed in order to participate in a sports team at Nooksack Valley High School. If any of these rules are broken during season the athlete is penalized by being ineligible to play for 60% of the season. If the code is violated during the off-season, the penalty is disqualification for 40% of the season. Athletes that take their sport seriously, and hope to move on to a collegiate level know that missing 40% to 60% percent of a season will hurt their chances of being scouted substantially. The risk taken by breaking the athletic code is not worth losing a chance of a scholarship to continue playing a sport a student loves at a competitive level. The Sumner School District has a great way of explaining the code of conduct to the community. “This activities code is designed to establish a reasonable, high standard for participants in co-curricular activities that empower our participants to make appropriate decisions, rather than to be punitive and deny access to such activities. Co-curricular activities are a privilege and completely voluntary. Along with this privilege comes the expectation of a higher standard of behavior and conduct. Participants in these activities are considered to be in positions of leadership representing themselves, their families, the team, school, district and community” (Sumner Athletics). This brief blurb from the Sumner Athletics Code of Conduct represents the higher standard athletes, actors, singers, dancers, and all participants of extracurricular activities are held to. Being involved in sports does not only reflect the athlete, but is a representation of the entire student body and staff members. The responsibility of athletes to uphold this good reputation is one of the main reasons student athletes are proven to perform better in school, and stay out of trouble. Being a student athlete in high school does not only keep the student responsible, it also provides physical activity for students who have been sitting in the classroom all day. Not only does physical activity contribute to a healthy body weight and prevention of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, but also shows astounding benefits in academic performance and lowering depression. Penny McCullagh, a psychologist, found in her research that exercise has the ability to work...
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