The MHSAA has appointed a task force to meet throughout 2016 to develop strategies to promote multi-sport participation by student-athletes. In that spirit I have departed from tradition and will be identifying current students by name in this space, approximately once each month, who are the Superstars of Multi-Sport Participation.
Last month (March 11) it was Plainwell High School senior Jessica Nyberg. This month’s “Superstar” is Saugatuck High School junior Blake Dunn, who is on course to earn 16 high school letters . . . four years of four sports.
My first thought was that maybe four sports each school year is too many and might get in the way of academics. But Blake is carrying a 3.95 GPA so far; so he appears to have that priority in the right place.
My second thought was that he must be an abnormally large and gifted physical specimen. But no, Blake is a pretty normal 5-11. 180-pounder. It’s hard work that people have described as his secret sauce.
My third thought is that Blake is fortunate to have coaches who will accommodate his passions and be flexible with practice demands so that he can be a part of two teams at the same time during the spring and also during the inevitable overlap of seasons from fall to winter and winter to spring.
School sports is a team sport. It’s adults working together to allow students to learn and grow in a variety of activities. It’s placing adolescents’ needs above adults’ desires, which might be the secret sauce in promoting multi-sport participation.
From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.