September/October 2019 - 30

SWISS ARMY
ATHLETES
Multisport participation creates players who are adaptable and durable, and
more schools are doing all they can to encourage greater involvement
By Scott Schultz, contributing writer
The tale is in the tape.
This idiom originated from the boxing world, where
fighters would be measured prior to a fight. The idea
was that there was some sort of predictive validity to the
result. But the expression is now used in different sports to
emphasize results coming from a certain action.
The athletic department at Highland Park High School
(Texas), just north of Dallas, has an unwritten policy
requiring athletes to participate in at least two sports
through their sophomore year before specializing in a
single sport. Athletic Director Johnny Ringo emphasizes
that the policy isn't " written in stone, " but it's " strongly
recommended " that their athletes comply.
" The percentage of our students involved in
extracurriculars or co-curriculars in our school is very
high, and we've seen a little bit of a jump in the two-sport
piece of it, " Ringo said. " I've been here six years, now
30 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019
going on seven, and the coaches prior pushed it. Each
head coach understands the policy, and we've seen the
percentage go up. "
Of Highland Park athletes, 61% of boys and 40%
of girls participate in multiple sports, Ringo said.
The school has won 13 team state championships
and 16 individual state titles in the last three years.
Ringo attributes much of that success to the students'
willingness to play more than one sport.
" We've wanted our kids to play two sports through the
end of their sophomore year - didn't matter which two,
just to give themselves options, " Ringo said. " And more
importantly to make it about Highland Park and their
experience as a Scot or Lady Scot. "
Ringo's concern over the physical strain is a driving
factor in stressing the policy, and its merits, to athletes and
their parents.

September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September/October 2019

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