By PAUL OLBERT
Brookwood High School teacher
The one game on the high school football docket that I look forward to every season is Royall vs. Brookwood. Usually they are two evenly matched squads that have considerable bragging rights at stake, especially considering the recent history of Wilton breaking ties with the black and gold in favor of greener pastures.
This year, Brookwood held Homecoming Week without an opponent, as Royall’s increased Covid-19 numbers excused them from participating. Everything was in place for a showdown at the end of the season, though, as the Falcons proposed to make up the game on Oct. 21. The game, however, won’t be played, as Panthers’ seniors voted to turn in their equipment and end their season early. Not only is this disappointing to football fans, but it begs the question as to who is in charge, the coaches or the players? Is this typical of today’s athletic culture, where adults ask players permission to schedule games? What’s next, the coaches asking the squad if they feel like lifting weights or conditioning after practice?
As a former coach, I can’t see myself having a team meeting and saying, “Hey guys, I know you’re tired and are missing out on your valuable screen time, but is it okay if we play a game against our rival? You know we have a chance to win, right?” When kids run the show instead of adults, it might be time to reevaluate the high school sports’ climate, with coaches scrapping the current system in favor of teaching pride, togetherness, and finishing what one starts.