Summit’s state championship character
Summit High School’s 33 state ski championships should not be taken for granted. It means our county has one of the best high school team programs in the country. It cannot be overstated. State skiing is the only sport where we can compete on the same playing field with all other mountain towns, including Vail, Aspen, Steamboat and Middle Park, all in the country’s premiere ski areas. While all towns argue their resorts, snow and programs are the best, no one is close to Summit’s record of state championships.The number – 33 – is simply dumbfounding when you multiply that by the number of kids involved on each team. This year alone, the Tigers are entering more than 45. In total, well more than 500 state champions have graduated from the ski program, and Summit junior Brianna Perkins won the individual classic state championship on Thursday.All this success can be connected to the school district’s recent talks about character building, and goals for the ideal graduate to be prepared to take on a fast-changing world. If you give a student confidence and hope, suddenly, there’s a whole lot to do after school, to be involved with, and changes can be seen as opportunities.Nordic coach Gene Dayton touched on the big picture this week when he told our sports editor: “That bar, that pressure, the joy of knowing that you’re part of that heritage, I think (it) has shown itself in the effort they put forth in practices and competitions throughout the season.” While school administrators, parents and even students are wary of saying, “Winning is important,” Dayton’s quote proves that with long-term success comes expectations, and with expectations comes motivation. Not only does winning help keep programs alive and vibrant, state championships give each participating student the understanding of what it takes to be the best, at least for a day.Certainly, that’s knowledge a student can use the rest of their life, and in the classroom.
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