John White, MBA in beBee in English, Sports, Physical Education and Sports Columnist • Inc Magazine Dec 4, 2016 · 2 min read · 2.3K

High School Sports Are As American As Apple Pie

High School Sports Are As American As Apple Pie

Lately, the USA has been the punch line in a lot of jokes around the world due to our ridiculous election season. Frankly, these jokes were well warranted and deserved. 

I'm not here to make this some sort of American flag-waving nationalistic we're the best type of post. However, I would like to share a piece of our American culture that I feel is truly unique and has made our country great. 

That's high school sports.

There is something truly special about putting on a uniform that bears your school name: the school spirit at the games, the chants of the cheerleaders, playing in front of your friends and family, the rivalries with other schools, the pep rallies, the band playing the school's fight song! 

My first job out of college was a high school tennis coach. I truly loved it. I loved being called coach. I loved the feeling when one of the kids I was coaching learned something new. I loved watching a kid beat someone they didn't think they could. High school sports is full of coachable moments both in sport and life. As a coach, your impact on the kids can be felt each and every day. There's something truly rewarding about that.

From the Friday night lights of a football game to a packed gym of screaming fans at a basketball game, I love it all! Here are some photos I've found that really describe the beauty of high school sports in America. I hope you enjoy them!

High school football in Colorado at its best. Players meet after the game for a prayer as the snow falls.    

The look of concern is evident here on this high school basketball players face. Clearly, this game means something to her.

This one is from the movie Hoosiers, one of my favorite and a movie set in Indiana where high school basketball is king. It's moments like these in the locker room before the big game that kids remember forever.

Homemade signs like these are so much fun. You won't see these at a pro game. This one made me chuckle a bit.

Here is the team I coached for four years. This particular team went 14-0 and won the conference title. I also won coach of the year honors, truth be told they carried me to that award. I still stay in touch with many of the guys on this team. They've all gone on to be quite successful in life. One of them just won an award at NASA as a top scientist. Another of them is one of Silicon Valley's top entrepreneurs. I interviewed him in this post on Inc:

Wow, that's some serious height! Cheerleaders make the games fun and pump up the crowd.

Even tough guys cry in high school sports sometimes. There is blood on their hands. Think they played hard?

High school sports can be one of extreme emotions. Compare the look on these girls faces to the boys in the previous photo. It feels good to win!

The bus ride to and from the games is often when friendships are cemented.

I saved the best one for last. This one is a video that will surely touch your heart.

I hope you've enjoyed my look into high school sports in the USA. Someday, I will return to coaching at the high school level. I love it too much not to do it.

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I love this post. Great revival.

Mohammed Sultan Jan 28, 2017 · #17

Coaching in workplaces is about running business ,it's also about running sports team.Basketball is and has always been good culture for inspiration and creating winning teams.T shirts has its magic in games and in business,I still remember the story of some coaches who achieved success in both.For them,running a business has become as important as running a fast break.Thank you @ John White for your burning desire to inspire kids and to make them more proactive.

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Jim Cody Dec 5, 2016 · #16

Fifty-two+ years ago and still enjoy the spirit and enthusiasm. Thanks @John White, MBA fir a great buzz

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Love this post John White!! You and Lisa do a great job in the posts & articles that are created. They enrich all of our lives!!! best regards, Bill Stankiewicz

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CityVP Manjit Dec 5, 2016 · #14

#9 I like the bit where someone described the whole feel of Golddigger Stadium as pure Americana. The big difference I saw from the video between what I have seen out of the extravagance demonstrated in Texas is sense of community. Whereas the Texas stories are highly tribal, I got a real sense of friendship, community and family spirit in the Idaho Springs video. That is the difference I think Hollywood choosing Texas locations for drama and a more authentic relationship.

It turns out in my follow up to this story that Clear Creek High School has been moved to Evergreen and but the Golddiggers remain in Idaho Springs - but that is not where my learning stops here. I took a stop by to peek at the DIGGERS core tenants

DIGGERS - CCHS Student Athlete Core Covenants

They also have a Coaches Covenant but the chief values that I find most relevant are transcribed in the Student Covenant. They spell out what DIGGERS means in much more detail but the overall moniker is :


That value statement contains the core of RISE which usually is Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence - the school chose Spirit instead of Service. I actually prefer the word SPIRIT - too many communities water down things to service when spirit is more.

Irene Hackett Dec 5, 2016 · #13

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John White, MBA Dec 5, 2016 · #12

#11 That is in the town of Idaho Springs. It's about a 2 hour drive from Fort Collins where I live if the roads are good.

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