EDITORIAL: Championships are the icing on cake in high school sports
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EDITORIAL: Championships are the icing on cake in high school sports

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Within 24 hours of each other, the Cambridge and Glens Falls football teams won state championships.

That’s pretty special.

It’s also pretty rare.

The Glens Falls team will be celebrated tonight with a parade through downtown Glens Falls before the annual Christmas tree lighting, so you might want to turn out to cheer them on.

This is the first ever state football championship for Glens Falls.

The second for Cambridge.

The championship games were two of the most exciting you will ever see, with each game up for grabs right up to the end.

We’re big believers that high school sports are an important part of the high school experience, whether you are a little-used substitute or a star.

We believe sports builds character and teaches discipline.

We believe it teaches a competitive spirit and life lessons about overcoming adversity.

And hopefully some sportsmanship.

It is about forming relationships between coaches and teammates that often last a lifetime.

We suspect the Glens Falls and Cambridge players have that bond, and will always be connected by this success story.

But it is important to remember that sports isn’t always about the final result.

Movies such as “Friday Night Lights” and “Hoosiers” put “states” into a special stratosphere for the high school athlete.

But if you remember, Permian lost the state title game in “Friday Night Lights.” It was still a great story.

It is proper and right to celebrate the lofty heights that both Cambridge and Glens Falls reached this weekend, but we all should be reminded that there are thousands of high school athletes competing all across the region learning important life lessons.

High school sports are often the first introduction to failure for many young people, and those lessons of how to deal with failure, and sometimes overcome it, are also valuable.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that the Fort Ann boys’ soccer team and the Argyle girls’ volleyball team both made it to the state championship games only to come up short. We believe their experiences will be just as memorable.

We know that in small towns like Fort Ann and Argyle, high school sports are often not only a big part of the school community, but the community as a whole. We see that all across the region.

Ultimately, being part of any varsity team in high school enhances the experience.

But it should not be blown out of proportion.

The state championship experience is not more important than an algebra or English midterm.

Many parents believe sports are a means to an end – a college education – but that is usually not the case.

The college athlete that has his or her education paid for in full is a rarity.

While many outstanding high school athletes get some scholarship money on the Division I and Division II levels, the vast majority do not get full scholarships. Most college athletes get no money at all. At the Division III level, colleges are not allowed to give scholarship money of any kind for athletics.

Ultimately, high school sports are about the experience.

The challenge to be a better athlete.

And the relationships that will last a lifetime.

Both the Cambridge and Glens Falls football teams have a little bit more to remember this year. They have achieved that rarity of being the absolute best at something.

We salute them for that, and can’t wait to see where it takes them from here.

Post-Star editorials represent the opinion of the Post-Star editorial board, which consists of Publisher Terry Coomes, Controller/Operations Director Brian Corcoran, Editor Ken Tingley, Projects Editor Will Doolittle and citizen representative Tim Robinson.

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