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Lee High in Staunton lost their state championship, and it serves them right.

March 12, 2006, 6:41 PM

I read today in the Staunton News Leader about the whole to-do about Lee High losing the state boys’ basketball championship, after having won it the past two years. Many people were hoping for a “three-peat” of the state championship, which was against Martinsville, and played at VCU in Richmond. Schools in Staunton were even dismissed early on Friday, to facilitate those traveling to Richmond to see the semifinals. Elementary schools in Staunton closed at 11:50 AM, Shelburne Middle School at 11:00 AM, and Lee High at 11:25.

Lee got to the final championship game, and they lost. And I have to say, it serves them right. And it serves them right because the school district took the bold step of officially putting athletics ahead of academics. Of course, realize that academics are what the whole purpose is of having a school system and such in the first place. But instead silly games get the spotlight. And my experience in high school was that athletics really were king, but they just never said so. And they certainly never cancelled school.

It just really bothers me for schools to be dismissed early for an athletic event. Especially with all the big to-do with high stakes testing related to Virginia’s “Standards of Learning” program and the federal “No Child Left Behind” program. Especially since, by having school and serving lunch, the day is considered “official”, even though school only lasted three hours and change. That’s barely even worth showing up for, and a waste of a day, if you ask me. If they’d cancelled school outright, then they would have to make the day up (I don’t know if Staunton had any built in snow days or not). That would be less offensive to me, because of the need to make the time up.

All in all, I think that the early dismissal jinxed them. Serves them right.

Web site: This article is about the loss to Martinsville, and for discussion of the early dismissal, see this article.

Song: Theme to Home Improvement, where I'm watching the complete third season.

Quote: I was also kind of surprised to see the photos of the athletes in tears on the front of the paper. I personally have no use for organized sports. I like it when people play sports and such just for fun. I like to watch, and I also enjoy partaking. When it becomes "athletics" is when I go from a supporter to an opponent.

Categories: Virginia local news