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Poland clergy wants Sunday sports practices limited

Published: Wed, December 26, 2012 @ 12:10 a.m.

District should refine, reinforce its policy for ‘healthy balance,’ coalition tells board



By Ashley Luthern



Local clergy members are asking the Poland school board to reinforce and refine its policy on limited Sunday sports practices.

The board is expected to take action on the policy at its January meeting.

Pastor Reid Lamport of Church of the Rock addressed the board last week of behalf of the Poland Coalition of Clergy, which also had representatives present from Holy Family Catholic Church, Poland United Methodist Church and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.

Lamport, who retired this year after coaching softball at Poland since 1986, said the group wants to see a “healthy balance” between athletic, academic and spiritual needs of students.

The coalition is requesting that Sunday sports practices occur only between 1 and 6 p.m., so that students are able to attend morning worship services and evening youth programs.

“There was a time when Sunday practice was unheard of,” said Lamport, who serves with associate pastor Mark Brungard, Poland’s head varsity football coach.

Interim Superintendent Don Dailey said school records indicate that in November 2008 then-school board members voted to allow Sunday practices, provided they didn’t start before 1 p.m. He added that no student-athlete should be penalized for attending religious services.

The coalition also is requesting student-athletes and coaches receive a written reminder every season that students attending churches-related youth retreats or other events are excused, per school policy.

Board member Elinor Zedaker said the blocked time would be beneficial to students who do not attend religious services, too, because it is a time when students know they will have a break.

“We over-program students,” she said.

School board president Dr. Larry Dinopoulos said he agreed with the coalition.

“We need a broader discussion for what’s important ... and a fundamental discussion about the role of athletics,” he said.

Lamport said some youth members of his congregation and others are skipping services and programs for sports practices, even optional sessions, because of fear they will miss out on playing time or be otherwise penalized.


1ulistenup(95 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

I graduated from Poland many years ago. It was a time when all businesses were closed on Sunday.

Now, many retail businesses are open on Sunday. But that should not be the case for a school district's employees.

I blame the school board and the teacher's union for allowing this practice - even on Sunday afternoon.

When I was in school, I was in the band. It would be unheard of for us to have practice on Sundays, even though we, as the sports teams, wanted in every way to be as good as we could possibly be.

I also criticize the local clergy members for not insisting that the entire day of Sunday be a "work free" day for coaches.

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2golfnut(30 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

The entire day should be free of school related activities. Whether for religious reasons, or to reserve for family activities, or just a day off from the over scheduling of our kids. The trouble is that if one school has practices, then they'll all do it so that there are no advantages. No Sunday activities would have to be state mandated by the state school board for it to work.

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3cambridge(4140 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

What if people actually minded their own business?

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4redeye1(5666 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

cambridge The kids need that break, I don't care when they are playing. Everyone should have a day away from school activities.

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5GoPens(397 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course you would blame the teacher's union. Shocking!

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6MrRight(28 comments)posted 3 years, 7 months ago

Amen cambridge! Can't have prayer in school because church and school need to be separate so they need to mind their own business. They have nothing to do with school or school functions. If a student makes the committment to an activity then he/she needs to fullfill that committment. Can the preacher come to my work and give my boss an excuse for me not to work on sundays???

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