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Superintendent Press Release October 20, 2023

Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,

As we move into November, we start transitioning from Fall to Winter sports and it still amazes me to hear how many kids are choosing not to participate in a Winter sport because they want to focus on one sport by playing club ball. I don’t know how much literature there is out there, but it is a LOT – that talks about the benefits of multi-sport athletes. From having a higher overall sports IQ, problem solving skills that carry over and compound from one sport to another, a better overall understanding of competition and teamwork, the improved fundamentals and gross motor skill development that leads to a reduced risk of injury when you strengthen and use a different set of muscles in a different sport. These are just a few examples of the benefits and there are so many articles from college coaches, doctors and examples of successful athletes that are repeating this information. If you research the most successful athletes EVER, all of them are multiple sport athletes when they were in high school. Sure, when an athlete gets into college, the time commitment and off-season programs require a shift to one sport but not in high school. Even if you think you need to play club to keep up, do both. My son played fall baseball in high school and still played football. I just do not understand why any parent would promote one sport participation. Dabo Swinney and Urban Meyer both are on record as saying they won’t recruit one sport athletes and there is a growing number of college coaches that understand the importance of recruiting multiple sport athletes.

Furthermore, I was in the gym the other day when I heard one of our students say, “colleges don’t recruit 8-man football players”. I almost fell down. In Cedar Bluffs we have had a plethora of football players go on to play at the college level including our very own elementary principal, Mr. Ben Hansen who play for Nebraska. My oldest son lined up opposite of Nathan Bazata from Howells Dodge who played for Iowa and then Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I also was lucky enough to watch Drew Ott from Giltner Nebraska play and if not for an injury would still be playing in the NFL. I coached 8-man football in Elba and had a nail bitter against the St. Edward Beavers who featured Shane Shanle who went out to play with the Rams, Cowboys, and Saints. Not to mention the hottest recruit, right now from Ainsworth Nebraska, Carter Nelson. He has offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Penn State, Alabama, and Georgia to name just a few. I could go on and on about successful players from small schools all over the country. If you are good, work hard, recruits will find you.

Have a great weekend and continue to promote – “small schools equal more opportunity” – now you just have to take that opportunity.

Wildcat Pride!