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Emmetsburg School Board Discusses Athletic Concerns

By Staff | Oct 21, 2010

Members of the Emmetsburg Community School Board aired some concerns over athletic procedures and policies during the group’s Oct. 18 meeting. Board members had been provided with a copy of the district’s Athletic Coaches Handbook, which had been provided by Athletic Director Joe Carter, prior to the meeting.

Board President Karla Anderson opened the discussion. “How often do our coaches review this handbook? Do they just look at it when they’re hired or do they go over it every year?”

“Mr. Carter reviews it every year with our coaching staff and also brings up areas and points he wants to emphasize,” replied High School Principal Jay Jurrens.

Board member Laure Egland commented that she had been made aware

of incidents where individuals in coaching situations had used inappropriate language. “Someone from another town asked me how coaches are to conduct themselves, like using profanity, swearing and yelling at the kids.”

Jurrens responded that Mr. Carter covers issues of that nature during individual meetings and evaluations with each coach during the year.

“Does he have a one on one with every coach?” Anderson asked Jurrens.

“Yes, he meets with every coach and does an evaluation at the end of every season,” the principal replied.

“I think back to the Fall meetings, and the last couple of years I cringe when they talk about the varsity and I think they said varsity is to win, and they talk about playing their best players and that the varsity is to win,” Anderson said. “I always kind of cringe a little bit on that because we might not have a varsity that winning but it’s a successful program. It might not be winning a whole lot, but the students are learning life skills.”

Anderson paused for a moment. “But, the last couple of years when I’ve heard that, I don’t know if I like that. I didn’t really read that in this philosophy here,” gesturing to the handbook.

“I guess I see that as they’re going to pick the best athletes out that are going to give them the best opportunity to have a winning season,” Egland observed. “If you have a winning season, a winning program, you’re going to keep the numbers out. If you don’t”

Egland then raised another point. “I do think the coach needs to be in the building where there are participants. They seem to have a better rapport with those kids.”

“I think everyone would agree with that, Laure,” Jurrens said. “That would certainly be our first choice, but unfortunately, that’s not always an option.”

A concern over student dress was also raised in the course of the discussion. “I wish they would make those kids dress up, whether they’re at a home game or at an away game,” Egland said. “When they come in wearing sweat pantsthey’re representing our school and I’d like to see them wear nice pants, something besides a pair of jeans with 15 holes in them. They are representing our school.”

“I’d like to add to that, all season, not just the first two games of the season,” noted Board member Kim Campbell. “What’s the difference between a game at the beginning of the season and one at the end of the season? Nothing. You’re still representing Emmetsburg.”

“I’m not aware that there is any official anything,” Joynt replied.

“I know,” Egland answered. “I think there should be, or the coaches should enforce a little stricter rule. I know the boys basketball team have those windbreaker suits that are all alike. They are still representing our school.”