Stewart: The passion of high school sports is second to none – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The fans in this state love their sports.
They’ve created a Green Bay Packers waiting list for season tickets at Lambeau Field that will last for decades. They jump around so much at Camp Randall Stadium during Wisconsin football games that the press box rocks back and forth. And millions flock to Miller Park to watch the Milwaukee Brewers, even in the not-so-good years.
But if you really want to see passion for sports, there is no need to travel a couple of hours to Green Bay or Madison. You don’t have to worry about beating the traffic heading to and from a Brewers game, either.
High school sports can’t match the profile of the pros or big-time college athletics, but it definitely can match the intensity.
If you don’t believe me, check out the parents section at a state tournament game. Watch the sideline of a football team scrambling to make the most of its last chance to get into the playoffs as time winds down. Look into the eyes of the coach whose team gave him everything it had and still lost.
They’re all invested in the game.
If you’ve ever cheered for someone whose diapers you once changed, you know it’s draining. If you’ve ever been behind the curtain of a coach’s life during the season, you know the hours can be ridiculous. And if you’ve played a sport, you know that sometimes it is so much more than just a game.
High school sports provide the chance to learn how to lead and an opportunity for individuals to come together for a common goal. And when the chemistry is right, you get a dedication and commitment to excellence as deep as any you’ll find in the professional or college ranks.
From that comes the passion and enthusiasm that you expect from Friday football under the lights, Tuesday night basketball or a mid-week wrestling dual.
It is that level of love that will be celebrated at the inaugural Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards Show on May 17 at the Pabst Theater.
The area’s best athletes will look their freshest and walk the red carpet. The event will name its athletes of the year in every WIAA-sponsored sport as well as celebrate individuals whose will to compete helped them come back from serious injury or who were simply too stubborn to let any hurdle keep them off the field.
We’ll also honor students who have used their position as athletes to help make changes in their communities. And in attendance, we’ll have four athletes – Whitefish Bay’s Camille Davre, Brookfield Central’s Caitlin Locante, Oconomowoc’s Zach Clayton and Arrowhead’s Cole Sandvold — who received the WIAA Scholar Athlete award. The honor was bestowed upon just 16 boys and 16 girls in the state and recognizes individuals who best exemplify success on the court and in the classroom.
About 125 athletes have been nominated, and it’s an impressive group of individuals who deserve their moment in the spotlight.
Mark Stewart can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at MarkStewartMJS.
Join us for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards, with guest speaker Jordy Nelson, on May 17 at the Pabst Theater.
Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards
Ready for the biggest night in high school sports? The inaugural Milwaukee Journal Sentinel High School Sports Awards will be held at 8 p.m. May 17 at the Pabst Theater.
The red-carpet event will not only celebrate the area’s top performers but also honor athletes whose ability to overcome life’s hurdles show a value of high school sports beyond wins and losses.
And Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson will be the guest speaker.