Blair teams lose ground on rivals daily

Feb. 13, 2003, midnight | By Lincoln Fischer | 17 years, 11 months ago

Without programs that focus on potential athletes, Blair is left in the dust

One question that I, as an athlete have been pondering in my senior year of high school is: "Why haven't any of our teams won a state title, much less a county title in years?" I am puzzled; Blair does draw more potential athletes with its population of close to 3500 than any other school in the county. Is there something in the water that sets us apart from MCPS powerhouses like Damascus and Sherwood?

I am aware of the fact that because of its special programs, Blair is home to some of the most academically talented students in the country. Most of which see no pressing need to spend over two hours a day bashing their heads against some other being's. But the truth is; not all 3500 students are too nerdy to be somewhat of a jock.

One of the biggest disadvantages Blair's athletic program faces is the fact that it does not have much of an organized feeder program for any of its sports. The majority of the athletes who try out for a sport at Blair have not had any organized experience in that sport prior to high school. With the exception of some sports like soccer, basketball and baseball, this is a big problem for Athletics Director Dale Miller and his program.

Our three feeder middle schools, Takoma Park, Eastern and Silver Spring International account for most of the potential athletes who will compete for Blair. The trouble is most coaches at Blair are not involved enough with the development of Blair's potential athletes. Since Blair's programs are under MCPS regulations and are not allowed to recruit middle school talent like big private school programs are, our only hope of competing with the prep powerhouses and even public schools in other counties lies in the development of our potential athletes before they even reach Blair.

Setting up clinics and camps that draw in these potential athletes and teach them the basics early on, is the first step in the right direction for Blair athletics. Organized club teams that compete in tournaments coached by parents or even Blair athletes will follow once interest is sparked in that particular sport at the middle school level. Many schools in MCPS like Damascus, Whitman and Sherwood have caught on to this, and are developing athletes early on for most of their sports.

Some programs at Blair, like the girls' and boys' soccer and lacrosse teams have set up clinics and camps at our feeder schools, but none of these is intensive enough to match the efforts of our counterparts around the county.

As many athletics programs around the county are beginning to realize the importance of, and focus on their middle school athletes, Blair's program falls further behind. Our Blazer coaches and athletes need to keep up with the competition by valuing their initiative as a great example. The success of those who will someday wear red and white depends on it.

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Lincoln Fischer. Senior sports writer Lincoln Fischer was born in Manhattan, New York on May 1st 1985. He presently lives in Takoma Park with his mother, father and sister. His father, Craig, is an editor for Pace Publications, which produces a number of newsletters related to criminal … More »

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