relationships

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29 years coaching experience/ 7 years as a varsity boys' basketball coach, now assisting

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Basketball...it really is just a game...

When I was younger, like little kid young, I competed so hard and wanted to win. Winning was the only thing as far as I was concerned. That and personal success. I was trying to draw the attention of others and it helped to boost my self-esteem when I did well or we won.
Then when I started coaching, I coached every game like it was the State Championship, still do. If we won, I felt that is what you are supposed to do, and if we lost...it felt like someone kicked me in the gut.

Then four years ago, we had our daughter, and...well, it really is just a game. I still coach and work to the best of my abilities because it is the right thing to do and that is how I am programmed, but if we win, it's a good night. And if we lose? Well, it still isn't good, but when I look at my two kids, losing is much more bearable.

We lost a close game in the State Tournament this past March, and I was disappointed. More so for the guys. We lost by 1 point to a team who we had beaten twice during the season in very close games. I felt that I had let them down, but hey...it isn't death. Then my daughter came to see me (son too young yet to know what is going on) and she was distraught. I mean as bad as I cried in my last game as a high school basketball player. Suddenly, tears welled up in my eyes for her and not for me....it really is just a game.

Now some of our closest friends are dealing with an illness to a loved one. And to be honest, it doesn't look good. This person is a Henryville icon, a person that when you mention the town, you mention McKee Munk, Tom Murphy, Steve Price, and others. McKee has had a rich life from being a son, nephew, basketball player, husband, school bus driver, auto dealer, insurance salesman, father, grandfather, great grandfather, gentleman, and confidant....it really is just a game.

No matter what happens between now and November, it doesn't look like he will be physically able to attend games this winter, and to be honest, I don't know when it was the last time he missed a game, needless to say a season. My family hopes and prays for him and his family. May God do his will and keep him pain free....it really is just a game.

Sometimes when people die they leave behind little or no legacy, but it will not be the case in this situation. What he leaves behind is something that will last generations in his family, and his influence will last for generations with those that were close to him....it really is just a game.

The world will be a lesser place without him, and he will not be forgotten.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Preparing to Prepare

Every season brings its little details that must be done for things to move as smoothly as possible.
1. Check over the volleyball schedule and other events that may coincide with elementary intramurals. (1 hr.)

2. Schedule elementary intramurals. (1 hr.)

3. Schedule open gym and conditioning. (1 hr.)

4. Schedule practice, games, and times to arrive at the gym or when the bus leaves. (1 hr.)

5. Order new practice gear. (1 hr.)

6. Maintain gym floor. (multiple hrs.)

7. Get new camcorder. (1 hr.)

8. Have game shorts restrung. (2 hrs.)

9. Check for fall coaching clinics. (1 hr.)

10. Keep in communication with the players. (multiple hrs.)

11. Inform players on possible showcases for potential future playing basketball in college.

12. Inform players of all star games they may participate in.

13. Clean/disinfect everything in basketball program. (multiple hrs.)

14. Clean up office. (1 hr.)

15. Look over standards and change if necessary. (1 hr.)

16. Settle on coaching staff 7-12. (multiple hrs.)

17. Work on scouting schedule for this winter. (multiple hrs.)

18. Order travel suits. (1 hr.)

19. Order game day t-shirts and intramural t-shirts. (1 hr.)

20. Meet with coaches on expectations for season.

21. Make up schedule for Henryville Inv. Tournament.

22. Double check list...and keep double checking thru the season......

Friday, August 14, 2009

Together Everyone Achieves More

Putting a team together is not an easy thing. When you think about all of the peripheral issues that are dealt with during a basketball season, it is sometimes amazing that teenage boys will come together like we did last winter and win some games.

Players: The coach tries to get the players to buy into the "team" concept. That sometimes is hard because we are inherently selfish, and it is something we try to preach all the time, that the individual actually gets more attention by giving up some of their skills, or more importantly, their wants.

They are listening to their coaches, their parents, their relatives, their girlfriends, their friends at school. They worry about their name in the paper, if a teammates name is in the paper, if somebody on the team doesn't like them for someone reason (i.e. girls). Players have to buy into what the team needs all the while hearing things constantly that may go against that.

Coaches: The coach has to deal with different personalities. Some selfish, some not, some indifferent...and that is just the parents. The players can be emotional before they ever step on a court and with competition those emotions get ratcheted up a notch or two.

When you have supportive parents, which I feel that we have, and the players buy into the team concept it makes the coaching job so much easier.

What is amazing is that in some situations what is going on elsewhere through conversations is not making your job easier as a coach and yet players still listen to the coach and desire for the team to be successful.

Rarely, are you going to see 5 individuals be successful. It's too bad that not everyone on the perphery can appreciate the lack of bad shots, the ability to pass the ball, the ability to lead in other ways than scoring. 5 individuals cannot win, but acting together they are tough to beat.

I wish that ESPN would play highlights of defense, of great and good passes, and players diving on the ball...but I guess it is the nature of the beast. These influences, however, are yet one last thing that affects basketball players and their ability to perform as a "team".

If you can wade through the peripheral, the team buys in, the team performs, and the team wins/loses together; then individuals will get a lot of attention.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Microwave Society

(1950-51 McKee Munk 3rd from left, front row)
U of L men's coach coined this term, microwave society, recently. He was trying to explain that in today's world, what you do right now will be old news by.....tonight! We live in such an instant gratification society that few people get the respect or recognition they have earned over a long period of time. Many people forget history.

How many times have we heard at HHS that this is the "first time in school history"? I know I have been guilty of it, but there are a couple things wrong with this, most people don't know the full history of HHS because they are unaware, or it hasn't been written down somewhere for us to access. Some things are easy like first basketball sectional title (94 girls), first boys' and baseball title (99), first boys' basketball sectional title (04), those are easy. But what about some of the teams and players that came before us? I will use basketball as an example because I know about as much about it as anything, but I don't know everything.

Henryville is one of the few schools with undefeated regular seasons. In 1945 and 1946, the Hornets won 38 consecutive regular season games being defeated both years in the first game of the sectional. I need to research the '47 season to see how many they may have won in a row during that stretch.

How many can name more than 4 coaches from HHS? Most get me, Jack Brooks, John Bradley and Herman Furnish because they are the most recent and who the gym is named after, but after than unless you played for them, you can't name a few others. Kermit Spurgeon was not a coach, but a player. I am sure someone can tell me the significance of why the gym was named after him.

Herman Furnish won 160 games at Henryville. But did you know that in 1941, he coached the first half of the season at Borden before moving to Henryville to finish out the year? Coach Jim Huter had an impressive run at HHS with his best record occurring in 1963 at 19-3 and one of the few conference championships ever at HHS with the Dixie Athletic Conference. But Coach Huter left HHS with 103 wins and went on to win 2 state Kentucky state championships in basketball at Male High School in Louisville.

Wes Porter coached here then moved on to Borden where in 1980 he had a really good team that almost beat Floyd Central in the one class sectional. Phil Schroer coached at HHS then moved on to Providence H.S. and then to Arizona where he has been inducted into the Arizona athletic hall of fame.

Denny Doutaz and Dennis Holt did good jobs at HHS then went on to build programs who after they left became really good; Doutaz at Forest Park and Holt at Paoli. Terry Rademacher led the Borden girls' program to multiple sectional championships. John Laskowski's brother Tom was one of the first recruits for Bob Knight at IU. John Bradley has successfully guided the rocky path to coach long tenures at rivals HHS and Silver Creek, and Jack Brooks was the first (if I am correct here) HHS alumnae/basketball player to come back and coach his alma mater leading the Hornets to their first sectional victory in 2004.

Player wise, Ralph Guthrie is considered to be one of the best players ever at HHS. He went to IU and played on the freshman team and was told he would have a spot on the varsity by Branch McCracken but came home to Henryville. Shane Meadows is the all-time leading scorer, before him was Greg Robertson. Before him for many years was McKee Munk.

McKee Munk has driven the bus for many years and hasn't missed too many games since his playing days. McKee is the grandfather of recent players Cody and Cory Munk and the father of the 70's great Jay Munk. McKee's father played at HHS also making Cory and Cody a rarity at any school. They were 4th generation basketball players for the same school of the same gender.

My favorite players growing up were Roger and Robin Embry. Roger because of the triple-doubles and Robin because of the swagger. They played during a resurgence of basketball at HHS. In 1980, HHS won two sectional games and were the first games they had won in the postseason since 1963. In 1981, they lead HHS to a regular season record of 17-3 and lost in the first round at Madison to Madison in overtime. Then in '82, Robin's senior year team made it to the sectional championship before bowing to Silver Creek. Take in the '84 team who had Jack Brooks and my '88 team who beat Borden, and we won about as many sectional games in that decade as any other decade during the 1 class era.

I looked at the pictures that I have one time and found only one season in which there wasn't one player from the previous season on the next season's team. Meaning that other than that one year, you can look at a team's seniors and they have played with the seniors 3 years previous. There is a line that runs from each class that is unbroken except that one time all the way back to 1938, I believe.

So, it is important, and I don't know if it is because I am a history teacher, to remember the past. The HHS basketball program was here before us, it has had it's periods of success and failures, but each person, each team worked to be the very best they could be.

There are many more stories for boys' basketball, but each sport has it's own rich history. If you would ever love to write them down and send them to me, please do not hesitate, they will be taken care of and kept for future generations.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Standards....Do We Really Have Any Anymore?

Anytime you are in charge of a large group of people that represent more than just themselves, you must have rules. That word for me has changed over the years from "rules" to "guidelines" to now I am changing them yet again...."standards". Standards sounds more cooperative "for us" than me mandating "rules" on them. Also, I like to get feedback on some of the standards we have, some of them are unbending and I will be firm in resolve with them.

I believe that HHS basketball players will be and should be held to a higher standard. So our standards are used to make sure they reach that higher standard. When it comes to enforcing standards there are a couple of things I like to tell the players. Discipline yourself and others will not have to, and if you think that if I were to catch, see, or know about it and you might think I wouldn't like it, you might want to rethink doing it. For that split moment, they need to think ab0ut the reprucussion of that action.

Some of the standards that we like are included in a paper that the player and their parent will sign. I want everyone to know what my/our expectations are.

1. I will wear a white dress shirt, tie, dress pants, dress shoes, or approved attire by the coaching staff to games...We and they represent more than ourselves. They represent me, their school, the community, and many eyes are looking at them. They need to be dressed appropriately.

2. I will ride the bust to and from games during the season....a couple things on this, as per contract, I am responsible for the players to and back from the games. It is in its basics a liability issue for me. Also, when we win everyone wants to be together, but when you lose, you like to ride home with your parents and girlfriend and go out to eat and be consoled. I feel that we need to share in that moment as much as the joy of winning. That is when teams are built.

3. I will not allow my girlfriend to sit with me during any playing of games....the players need to be focused, period. Also, I have had people comment how bad it looks if kids are hanging on each other, and it is not a perception I want of my program.

4. I will get to class/school on time...this is a problem for all students, and seems that it should be a simple thing to follow, but it isn't. Our lax society has allowed for it to be okay to be a little late here and there, and I cannot stand it. I believe if you want to be a disciplined participant of society, you need to be on time.

5. I will stay out of trouble at school, I will stay in class, I will not make out with my girlfriend at school or games, I will be at school, I will try to do my best in school, I will stay out of trouble at school....believe it or not, every single standard on this list is something that has been dealt with in the past. We want to make sure that if we deal with it during the season, they have heard and agreed these are important standards.

6. I will not leave school early unless for a specific, excused reason. I will notify the coaching staff if I do leave early...this is a respect issue. We have practice, we have something else scheduled, I need to know if they are not going to be there. Plus, we may have to change some things up in practice if somebody gets ill or cannot be at practice.

7. I/We understand that the coaching staff reserves the right to deal with any unmentioned problems in the future at their discretion and within reason....this is to cover us in case something comes up we don't expect. We need to have the flexbility to make sure our players are living up to standards and not the lowest of the low either.

8. School standards: Must pass 5 solid classes, West Clark drug/alcohol policy....these are corporation mandated standards.

9. Haircuts should be above the collar, off the ears and above the eyebrows. No extreme sideburns, hair color or haircuts, no facial hair, no earrings during the season at any time, no visible tattoos during games...these are all perception things for the program. Call me old school, but I believe these are important standards because remember, the players are representing more than just themselves. They represent me, the student body, and the little old lady in row 22.

10. If you are late, you will run. If you miss, you will not start/play...this is also a respect issue. Respect the coaches, respect your teammates, and respect the game especially as it is played in Indiana.

11. Detentions should not happen and there is no policy, but if they ever get out of hand, there will be one implemented. And it will require circumstances so that it never happens again.

12. In school suspension=100 wall to walls for each day and suspension for 1/2 game for each day of ISS. On the 2nd separate ocassion, you will be removed from the team....perception and being held to a higher standard. I believe in second chances, but after that you will find something else to do other than basketball at HHS.

13. Out of school suspension=100 wall to walls for each day and suspended as many games as your OSS lasts. (Suspended for 3 days=300 wall to walls and 3 game suspension.) On the second separate OSS, you will be removed from the team....I have very little tolerance for out of school suspensions.

14. If any teacher talks to me about your behavior in school, the first time I will conference with you, the second time running will be involved.

It seems like more written out than it really is. Believe me, if they are decent human beings, players can go through four years of high school basketball at HHS and never have a problem with me. Disciplining players is one of the things I dislike about coaching, but is a necessary evil. Hopefully, our standards are things that they can carry over into their lives after school.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Loyalty.......

Does loyalty still exist? It is something that cannot be forced on someone or asked from someone, but it is a tangible that still exists for me. This is my blog, and I think that by getting some of my thoughts and beliefs in writing, it will help me understand me, but also help others on my insights.

My loyalty to my staff is that they are welcome to coach at HHS while I am there unless they are cancerous to the program. We have had assistants who yell, some who don't, some who use negative reinforcement, some who use positive and most of them do all of the above at any given time. I am far from perfect and often feel hypocritical when ever speaking with one of them about improving because I have done every stupid thing you can imagine in 18 years of coaching basketball. I try to take care of them with free Henryville basketball shirts/jackets, or at least discounted shoes for the season. I want them to feel that they are important to me and the program. I appreciate their time, effort and loyalty.

One of the things that I have tried to improve upon is showing more loyalty to the staff and administration. Not that I am out talking about everything that goes on, but there is a level of gossip that goes on with any position. I realize that my position is one which there tends to have a higher level of complaints, comparison, just plain communication about my job. I may speak about concerns with faculty or administration, but it is usually with a small group of my tight friends. I do it to air frustrations and to ask for advice, but even that needs to be cut back. I try to show loyalty to the staff by attending some of their events so they can know I appreciate the extra time and effort they put in for our school to strive.

I show loyalty to my players. One example is, I feel, that if you play basketball at Henryville from 5th grade all the way to your senior year, you should not be cut. As I have written before, fewer and fewer players stay with basketball for that amount of time. I believe that if a kid shows that kind of dedication, it demands to be rewarded. I have had this discussion with some who disagree, that by keeping seniors who might not play, who might not help it is taking away a space or time from a younger player who will help in the future. Maybe one day we will have the luxury to cut players because we have so many trying to play, but when we have 15-25 total guys trying to play, cuts should be one of the last things we do. However, if you have never played and try to play your junior or especially senior year, I feel you had better be pretty darn good, or you will be told to try something else in the winter.

I show loyalty to my players by trying to be consistent in upholding our team standards. By not doing so would show a disrespect to them that will only cheat them in the future. They may not understand that at the present moment, but it is a delayed reward. One that many players of the past have come and thanked me and the coaching staff for teaching them tough lessons, lessons not understood by 17 year olds, but is by 22 year olds.

I show loyalty to my players, and I have had many disagree with this, in that the older guys get the shot to play and contribute before the younger guys. Unless you are just an amazing talent at a young age, the older guys will get the first shot to win games for HHS. If they cannot get it done, I think it is fair to then give the younger players their chance. This idea goes back to the whole playing since 5th grade. If you are on the team, and considered one of the top 7-9 players, you should be given your shot because you have earned it. How long that shot is given depends on the back up players. If they are minimally talented, their shot may last longer, if they are highly talented, your shot may last a much shorter amount of time.

I hope I show loyalty to my former players in that each and every one of them who plays their senior year and graduates is welcome at any point to come to practice. They are welcome at any point to come into the locker room after a game to my office. They are welcome and will have an access that the casual fan does not have. I want to know how they are doing, are they succeeding, if not, why? What can I do to help?

I show loyalty to companies who have given us a good deal with the basketball program. Whether it is with shoes, travel suits, t-shirts, or anything we have bought to improve our program, I will go to them more often than not even if they raise their price a little higher than a competitor. Some would say that is stupid, but I have found it ensures more cooperation if something doesn't work out.

Loyalty, I show it with basketball and I show it with life. I know that I fall short in some of the things I have written about, but know that I do try to be better. I try to live up to these guidelines and standards because they are just that. Something to strive for. If you know everything or are the greatest at any endeavor, why try to improve? Many people who are the greatest in coaching basketball or in playing basketball still strive to improve. That proves to me that there is always something to learn, or improve upon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Henryville High School Basketball Players

Sometimes people tend to think that the basketball players are treated differently, given things just because of who they are. I cannot argue that basketball isn't a big deal in our town. I can't argue that maybe they get a little more attention than regular students. But I can argue that they have to deal with me and I am not always the easiest person to please, plus my expectations for them off the court is something few other students have to deal with.

But, with that being said, I would argue that some of that extra attention is deserved. Let me explain. When the season ends in March, there is a meeting for any boy 8-11 who wants to play basketball next year. At that meeting they are given a schedule of the expectations for them in June and July.

In the month of June, if they want to be considered seriously for basketball in the winter, they must be at HHS for practice 3 times a week for 2 hours. Then for 3 weekends, they are expected to attend any tournaments that are scheduled. Also, games can be added during the week. They do all this and work and try to have some fun also in the summer. In July, I am not as demanding of their time. We have 6 old school Open Gyms, and I am more flexible, but it is still nice to see the guys take it seriously.

That doesn't sound like much, right? As soon as school begins, there is another meeting and at that meeting they are given schedules of open gyms, conditioning, and the first day of practice. Open gym is in September, 3 days a week, conditioning is in October for 3 days a week, and practice begins on November 9. When practice begins, many of the high school basketball players will have worked "officially" on their games approximately 44-46 days with me.

Then practice begins, and depending on the length of the season, they will have approximately 75 practices to go with 21-25 games. That is almost 1/3 of the year they are doing something basketball related. We do something basketball related in all or parts of every month of the year when you throw in elementary basketball intramurals on Saturday mornings that some of the guys come to.

That is a dedication that warrants and almost demands respect. Two things with that: 1. Just because it warrants or demands respect, doesn't mean that respect should be expected by the players. They should never behave in a manner publicly that is an air of arrogance because of that, but they should know inside that they are special for it. Which gets me to 2. Every year it seems that fewer and fewer high school boys choose to do what I have written about. That is o.k., there are zero hard feelings on my part, not everyone is cut out for it, I understand. They may have likes in something else where they can be just as dedicated. But it does show how each year in an instant gratification society how special those who do participate in basketball are.

And what about the pressure? The pressure to succeed in something that many, many people care about. Home games of 800-2000 in attendance, every single game. I know students who would be scared to walk out on the gym floor with that many in attendance and these guys are competing and possibly failing in front of that many people. Students align their work schedules around the games so they can be part of the game. Tournaments where every possession on defense and offense counts, and will be critiqued if the game is lost.

Those 15-24 guys out of 300+ students deserve respect. They deserve at least a pat on the back. But, they also must understand that the respect, that pat on the back isn't just given, it is earned. There are generations of HHS basketball players before them, some hugely successful, others not, but all who busted their tails for the school and the program. There are generations of HHS basketball players who will come after them who will do the same, and many of those future generations (the little kids) look up to them as if they are rock stars. Which brings its own different type of pressure.

I want to close by saying that even though I have let you in on how I believe the basketball players should be perceived, I also want everyone to know that my high expectations on their behavior both on and off the court rarely are met. Many players past and present can tell you stories where their lack of meeting my expectations off the court has rendered harsh, um, re-alignment of their behavior.












Monday, August 3, 2009

Sometimes You Have to do it Yourself




There are many jobs that need to be done around a school and more specifically for my purposes, the basketball program. Our custodians have plenty to do, so there are things that I have done to try to improve the overall look of the program. Maybe some things you don't even notice, but I do.

Here is a list from off the top of my head:
1. Dust the poles that the goals hang on. You wouldn't believe how much dust is in the rafters and gathers on those poles.
2. Have painted the side backboards. They were white when I took over, and I gave them a fresh coating of paint.
3. Put tape around the outside of the side backboards to look neater. Before there were just white backboards. Some of them had gray foam on them and other didn't. I made them look uniform.
4. Windex the glass backboards every 10 games. Get the ladder out and risk your life.
5. Clean the floor every day. We have a court clean system which cleans the floor way better than with just a broom. Includes using water and a new bacteria killing formula that "makes the water wetter".
6. Painted the floor of the locker room. When they did the construction a few years ago, it was almost as if they forgot to finish our locker rooms. They put a layer of sealant over top some ugly looking concrete. I painted our locker room Battleship Grey.
7. Laid the black base on the floor. Again, almost as if they forgot to finish our locker room.
8. Painted the office walls. The white paint was chipping away and I painted them gold with a strip of black at the bottom and top.
9. Sweep bleachers as needed. It is amazing how dirty they can get pulled in over the summer.
10. Raise and lower goals for games/practice.
11. Pull bleachers out for games/practice.
12. Scrape up gum off gym floor. I have a special tool for this.
13. Use wet towels to clean up coke and mud on floor. Usually carry a smaller wet towel around when sweeping or using court clean to make sure we get all the dirt.
14. Disinfect water bottles every 3 games and equipment twice a season. We want to make sure the bottles stay clean as well as the equipment.
15. Laid carpet, but lost the locker room to share for P.E. so I did #6.
Special thanks to Al Wheatbrook and Dale Robertson for the help they have given me in guiding me towards the direction I wanted to go. Also, Al helped with painting the locker room 5 years ago.

Doing these things has less to do with what I believe needs to be done by others and more with what I believe I should do. If you want to run a first class program, you must be willing to do the little things that you may not believe fall under your job description.
But....they do.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Discipline


Discipline was defined by Bob Knight as "doing what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it." And I added "even when you don't want to".

To me that means it can be for many different things. It can be as simple as remembering to set your alarm for the morning, then when the alarm goes off, you get up. No snooze, you get up. If you want to sleep later, set the alarm for later. It can be as simple as being on time, all the time. Usually the reason why I am late to anything is because I was not disciplined enough to set an alarm, get ready, or get moving.

If I didn't have some form of discipline, I could not get all of the things accomplished during the day that I need to during a school year. Discipline is getting those things done, discipline is staying on your practice plan with even "fun" time scheduled into it. Discipline is also understanding when something isn't working and changing it even if it is in the middle of a practice or game.

Discipline is helping with the kids when you don't want to. Discipline is helping out around the house, when you don't want to. Discipline is helping your parents, helping a co-worker, picking up trash in the hallway, helping students even though it is time to go home. Discipline is helping and doing even when it is the last thing you possibly want to do.

Now, if you help and do something good, but only because you are supposed to do it does it make you a bad person? My belief is no, in fact, it may make you an even better person because you do it despite what your selfish wants or maybe even needs are at that moment.

The most undisciplined thing I probably have is my closet. My entire life is decently structured (not so regimented that I am no fun) especially during the school year, but if you were to look in my closet..... About once every 3 months, I have to pick up what I have thrown in there, hang clothes, and get it organized. It would be more disciplined to keep it up consistently, but I just cannot make myself do it.

Finally, discipline is what our military personnel need to have to do the things that they do. Pictured above is 2004 HHS alum Brad Guernsey when he was using discipline to guard someone in a basketball game. Today, he has used discipline in Iraq and currently in Afghanistan (in picture on right, he is second from the right). Without discipline, he wouldn't have been as successful in high school athletics, and now that discipline is keeping him safe.

Discipline sometimes comes off as a negative word and the reason it is, I believe, is because it requires us to come out of our comfort zones. It requires us to do more than what feels good, it requires us to be better. It doesn't ask, it doesn't suggest...it requires.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

West Clark Community Schools Drug and Alcohol Policy

SUBSTANCE ABUSE, EXTRA CURRICULAR PARTICIPANTS
West Clark Community Schools (which Henryville High School is a member of) recognizes that athletes, cheerleaders, and extra-curricular participants stand in a special relationship with their school, community, and other students. It is understood that wearing the uniform of the school and/or representing the school in competition confers both extra recognition and extra responsibilities upon the student.

Therefore, the use of any alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs is prohibited among all students, including athletes, cheerleaders, and extra-curricular participants.

This prohibition extends 365 days a year, 24 hours a day for athletes, cheerleaders, and extra curricular participants in West Clark Community Schools.

Possession or use of illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco or participation in an activity which would reasonably be considered criminal activity, such as theft, will result in the following penalty:

1st offense: Suspension from participation in 1/3 of the contests for that particular season. Participation in practices may be permitted, depending on circumstances.
2nd offense: (during career in elementary, jr. high, and then high school): Suspension from participation for 365 days.
3rd offense: (during career in elementary, jr. high, and then high school): No participation in athletics, cheerleading, or other extra curricular for the rest of the student’s years in that level school.
In the event the offense occurs late in the season or out of season, there will be a carry-over to the next season, whether that season would be the same school year or the next one.