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Raider Pride keeps rolling from season to season: Editorial

Press & Journal Editorial Board
Posted 3/7/17

Winning can be contagious.

After a highly successful Middletown Blue Raiders football season in which they reached the state championship game for the first time, the momentum rolled on for the …

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Raider Pride keeps rolling from season to season: Editorial

Posted

Winning can be contagious.

After a highly successful Middletown Blue Raiders football season in which they reached the state championship game for the first time, the momentum rolled on for the boys basketball team. It might not be a huge surprise, since the teams shared some of the same players.

That momentum led the boys team to the PIAA AAAA basketball championship tournament. Not to be outdone, the girls basketball team has made its way to the PIAA AAA girls basketball tournament, even though its record is only 12-13.

No wrestlers made it to states, but it’s a young team, with all six who qualified for districts returning. Only three seniors depart.

Middletown fans should be very happy with the state of its high school sports programs.

But more than just winning: Participation in sports is up in general, with high turnout numbers for baseball and softball as well as track and field as the spring sports get under way.

An upgrade in facilities has given a spark to many of the teams as the new high school offers a chance for athletes to compete in a high-quality setting.

Athletics are not more important than academics. But the latter does not have to come at the expense of the former, either.

Playing sports teaches young people hard work, dedication, punctuality, overcoming adversity and a host of other attributes that they can carry throughout their lives.

And we don’t want to focus only on the players themselves. There are band members, cheerleaders and many other members of a support staff that help the programs achieve their goals.

While we don't want to put too much pressure on these youngsters, winning in sports helps lift a community. Sure, it's fun when the Eagles or Steelers or Phillies or Pirates or whomever you root for professionally have great seasons. But the Blue Raiders are our neighbors and relatives. It’s a different feel from watching a team of overpaid athletes.

We have many young people of whom to be proud, and not just in sports. Look at the efforts of the high school and middle school performers in the March musicals.

Raider Pride is important, even if a team isn’t winning. Competing and doing one’s best can’t be overstated.

We don’t want to overemphasize winning. But if they’re going to play the games, wrestle the matches, and take the fields, it sure beats losing, doesn’t it?

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