Participation in school sports offers a wealth of benefits to many students. Butler High senior, Uriah LeMay, said he began playing football in the sixth grade. He realized he was good at the sport two years later when he began winning All-American titles. Before that, he was a “wild child” who needed to become focused on the possibilities for a bright future. Thus far, Butler averages 75 students on average at practices. In the fall, there will be about 55 varsity players and approximately 70 junior varsity players.
Linebacker Coach Chris Pierce said athletes learn more than how to toss around the football. They learn character traits: how to cope with adversity, networking and team effort. Those skills will then transfer to college applications and hopefully scholarships for many.
“Athletics in general help students stay out of trouble and earn better grades. Kids have to perform in the classroom, so they can play sports,” said Pierce. “I think sports save a lot of kids from going in the wrong direction. It gives students a chance to go to college; often times for free. Some of our students wouldn’t have that opportunity without school athletics.”
Studies show that students who are involved in programs have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline problems than students generally. Students who play school sports learn teamwork, sportsmanship, self-discipline; build self-confidence and shapes skills to handle competitive situations. Those key components aid in a student’s success in college, a career and as a member of society.
Butler football players, like Uriah, started to mentally, physically and emotionally set their minds to win months ago, shortly after their last season. Players said it is the sport that helps them stay on a “straight and narrow” path to success -- not only in the game, but in every aspect of their lives.
“Football has taught me about discipline, self-respect and good traits,” said receiver Uriah, who has verbally committed to University of Georgia.
“It takes a total commitment from the team and the coaches,” said Pierce. “The students already have the drive and determination; we just help them get to where they want to be.”
Senior Grant Polofsky is weighing choices with several Ivy League schools, including Brown University.
“You have to have good work ethics when you play sports. You know you have to go home and get your homework done. The end of the day is not the time to relax until everything is completed,” said defensive end Grant.
“It is easy for students to say, ‘I want to lay on the couch during the summer,’ but athletes know what it takes to win and want to work hard through the off season to get there,” Pierce said.
Learn how to get your student involved in athletics here. If you need more information, contact the CMS Athletics Department at (980) 343-6980.