To Cut or not To Cut?

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To Cut or not To Cut?

Track of Champions.

Track of Champions.

Isabel Brownlee

Track of Champions.

Isabel Brownlee

Isabel Brownlee

Track of Champions.

Fiona Kean, Writer

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Does getting cut from a sports team teach students lessons about competition and accepting disappointment? Or, does it exclude kids from feeling connected to the community and from staying in shape?

Madison High School has had a no-cut policy for athletic teams for many years. This gives all students the opportunity to participate in any sport. Recently, there has been too many kids on some sports teams and a lack of commitment on some other teams.

There are many positive and negative effects of introducing the cut policy at MHS. A cut policy would allow the MHS sports teams to become a more elite program and would allow for a more competitive environment. At the same time it gives students important life lessons about hard work and competition. On the other hand, students participating in sports are proven to have higher GPAs, higher graduation rates and better test scores than those who do not take part in sports. Participating on a sports team also teaches students about commitment and teamwork.

We talked to head of the Athletics Department at MHS, Mr. Dowling, to learn more about the cut policy.

MDO: Is there going to be a cut policy next year?

Dowling: It looks that way. It was supposed to be presented at a Board of Education meeting, but that’s not going to happen anymore.

MDO: Do you wish to have the cut policy at MHS? Why or why not?

Dowling: We need cuts in certain sports not all sports, but some. Its sheer numbers. Last year we had 48 on our JV boys soccer roster. We have made it work for the past couple of years, we’ve added coaches and uniforms but with that comes added costs.

MDO: What do you think are the positive/negative effects of having the cut policy?

Dowling: Coaches can coach the team more efficiently. Our philosophy here at MHS is to provide a competitive environment for all athletes. Coaches can now concentrate on the athletes on the field and don’t have to worry as much about supervision. We are hoping that the overall athletic program will improve and we will have more students in attendance at our sports games.

MDO: How do you think this will affect the sports community in Madison?

Dowling: This is the great unknown. Mr. Robertson and I have talked a lot about the culture of our school. We are expecting that 30-50 kids will be affected by this. Those kids have many other options, like clubs and different sports. Overall I don’t know how this will affect the community.

MDO: If the cut policy is introduced would cuts be made on skill or on commitment?

Dowling: Every coach will have a tryout period. After this some sports will be given a rubric. This rubric will include skill, knowledge of the sport and commitment. Cuts will be made based off of this rubric.

MDO: Any last thoughts?

Dowling: The bottom line is that nothing is written in stone. Things can change and there is still a lot unknown. I am concerned about what those 30-50 students will do, but we do not have any money for intramurals.

We also talked to a few coaches to get their opinions on the athletic cut policy.

MDO: What is your opinion on the cut policy for the sports teams?

Lynott: As the soccer coach I won’t be looking to implement it. I think that the sports programs have to offer a little bit more than just the whole ethos about winning. There are other benefits of the program. Even for people who might not necessarily be an athlete I think they get an awful lot out of it. However, I think there are some programs where it might be necessary to introduce it.

MDO: What is your opinion on the cut policy for the sports teams?

Doc: I think that it is unnecessary. I think that coaches should be able to easily get rid of people that lack the commitment. I guess one benefit of having a cut policy is that those people who are cut could do something else where they might have more opportunity to participate, like cross-country.

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