Athletics and Academics

By: Steve Frommeyer, Principal & Head Football Coach, Eminence High School, Eminence, KY. 
Have you ever thought about why there is such a deep divide between the academic and athletic worlds in America? Still today, many people see the relationship between the two worlds as “shaky” at best. As a principal and head football coach for over 20 years, I have been in a somewhat unique position to have to negotiate those two worlds on a daily basis. The academic world claims that there is too much emphasis on sports at the expense of academics. The athletic world often exhibits a win at all cost attitude that further alienates itself from many educators and community members.
However, educators (and often those same community members), often fail to see all the tremendous qualities athletes develop by participating in competitive situations. Moreover, statistics show that kids in athletics actually make higher grades than the general student population as a whole. Thus, the divide.
At Eminence Middle School/High School, our mission statement is “to develop world class students in all aspects of life through the cooperation of all stakeholders”. We view athletics and other extracurricular activities as a vital part of our school curriculum. These activities can help develop world class students in areas that the classroom alone could never possibly do. We require every student to participate in at least one school activity per year (average) in order to be promoted and/or graduate.
Programs like Sportsleader help break down that divide between these two often conflicting worlds. Students of character are much more likely to be successful in both the academic and athletic worlds. If more schools would take a more “holistic” approach to the education of our students and more teams would include programs like Sportsleader in their daily routines, the two worlds as separate entities would not exist. We would reach the goal Jesus set before us to become as “one”!