Character not defined by wins


Joel Olson
Guest Columnist

I have been asked by the Times to write about our football team this year.  Without hesitation I said yes.

Our community knows the struggles that this team faced all year long. If the coaches and kids were to allow themselves to be defined by society’s definition of success, then, we could consider this season unsuccessful.

The character of this team has not allowed them to be defined soley by the scoreboard. The kids who chose to come out for this team did so because of their passion for the sport and committing to a group of people who share the same passion.

One statistic I came across recently, was that for 97 percent of high school athletes competing in high school sports is their terminal experience in that sport. They will not go on to college and compete, so, our programs better be more than winning.

It has been said that a football team’s success on the field is a predictor of school climate for the rest of the year. If you attended a game this year, you would see that regardless of the score of the game our community supports its kids and comes together on four fall Fridays to cheer on the Rangers.

I am proud of the kids and coaches who made the choice to put on the jersey and represent our school and community with pride. I would be remiss if I didn’t speak to the other 400-or-so athletes who participated in our programs this fall. From the volleyball court to the pool to the roads, our kids devote time and talent to our school. Year in and year out we are well represented in the conference and state levels.

One thing that all of our kids are successful in is preparing for life after high school. Another statistic shows that participation in extra-curricular activities helps kids do better in school academically and is a predictor of future success after school. I truly believe that when our kids graduate, they are ready for whatever comes their way. We may not win championships every year, but I would not trade this school, its kids and our staff for any other in the state. We are the Rangers!

Joel Olson is the activities director at Forest Lake High School