Raiders need to evaluate opening

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shelby Academy is running out of time. With school registration and the first day of football practice fast approaching, will the Raiders field a football team this year? Even more, will the school find the money to keep its doors open?

The alumni and parents have spoken. They are not giving up. I can’t blame them. I wouldn’t either. However, now is the time to evaluate how to go about keeping the doors open to the kids in kelly green.

Emotions say keep the school open for everyone. But reason and time say otherwise.

Two years ago, Open Door, Warrior and Central Christian didn’t field football teams. Some of those schools did not make their decision about football until the last weeks of summer.

This sent other teams into a scramble to adjust their schedules. Those players were unable to enjoy a senior season.

Shelby, don’t make the same mistake.

Coaches have departed. So have many of your players. Other teams have taken you off their schedules to make sure they don’t have an open date this year. They’re not willing to take the risk.

Raider fans, if you want to survive, first consider cutting your losses and letting some of the upperclassmen transfer to enjoy the end of their high school careers. There’s a lot of talent at Shelby Academy, both athletic and academic. This is the time of their lives that should not be wasted because of poor management.

Yes, keeping the halls of Shelby Academy open is a great idea, and one that I support. But trying to force a perfect ending to come about in four weeks is cause for disaster.

The school should start fresh and build from near scratch like it did in 1970.

Consider making the school a K-8 for a few years, capping at the grade where you feel you can best grow. Shelby, it’s time to put your sports and secondary education programs on hold until your school grows back into them. It’s always hard to wait until tomorrow, but it’s better than saying goodbye today.

Outside the Lines is a weekly opinion column.