Gilliland: LPHS students need Slicer athletics, and Slicer athletics need your support

 

Editor’s note: This letter was submitted by La Porte High School Athletic Director Ed Gilliland.

While each school year and athletic season has its own identity, circumstances, adversity, successes and failures, no year has been as challenging and faced as many obstacles as the 2020-2021 school year. 

Gilliland

School and athletics came to a screeching halt in March of 2020, and while LPHS was able to resume classes and athletics in August, it was not without restrictions and changes that have never before been implemented. Those restrictions and changes continued into the winter sports season and are anticipated to impact spring sports as well, to some degree, as society continues to battle COVID-19.

Coaches, student athletes who have participated thus far in athletics at LPHS, and the parents of those athletes have demonstrated a level of excellence, responsibility, cooperation and perseverance that goes far beyond that of a normal year. Through the hard work of coaches, teachers, administration, other school personnel and the La Porte community, student athletes have been provided an opportunity to compete this year. 

As a proud alumnus of La Porte High School, former athlete, teacher and coach and now the director of Athletics for La Porte Community School Corporation, it is my desire for the athletic programs at LPHS to help guide young people in having a meaningful experience in athletics and extracurricular activities. It is the pleasure of the entire athletic department at LPHS to work with student athletes as they find a pathway to academic success and a work ethic both in the classroom and on the playing field. 

LPHS athletics is an extension of the classroom that provides teaching and learning experiences for all involved. These experiences and lessons relate as much to life and education as they do to the outcome on a scoreboard. Research shows that athletes generally have a higher GPA, higher test scores, and fewer absences and disciplinary issues as those students not involved in an extracurricular activity. Research also shows that high school students who participate in education-based athletics routinely become leaders in business, education, the professions, their community and in government. 

While the LPHS Athletic Department has been able to provide opportunities for athletes to compete, attendance has been limited at athletic events, thus limiting significantly the revenue generated for the athletic department. The cost for officials, uniforms, equipment and other essentials required to conduct athletic events has not been reduced and, in some cases, continues to increase and these essentials are all paid for from gate receipts.

The LPHS Booster Club kick-started our fall season with a $5,000 donation and pays for all awards presented to the student athletes at LPHS each year. These awards consist of the 20 MVP awards, 20 most improved awards, 20 mental attitude awards, and all letters, chevrons, patches and numerals given to athletes each year. The Booster Club is also going to help defray some of, or all of, the costs involved with the annual Hubner Hall of Fame Awards for 2021. While the athletic department is getting by and has thus far been able to cover the costs of athletic events this year, athletic programs would certainly have suffered if not for the contributions of the Booster Club and it may be necessary for the athletic department to request another donation from the Booster Club at a future date. 

Included at the link below are information and a registration form for the 2021 LPHS Booster Club Golf Outing June 25. Registration, sponsorship and donation forms may also be found on the following link: https://goslicers.com/2021/02/10/slicer-athletic-booster-club-golf-outing-2/ 

It is my hope that you will consider being a sponsor or a participant in this year’s event. Sponsors certainly do not need to be a business as we have numerous individuals and families as sponsors each year. If you choose not to be a sponsor and wish to make a donation, that, too, would be greatly appreciated. This is the sole fundraiser for the Booster Club and funds generated from this outing provide all of those items previously mentioned. 

Send your registration form and fee, and/or donation, to La Porte Athletic Booster Club, Attn: Booster Club, 602 F St., La Porte, Ind. 46350. For more information email Kyle Antos (k.antos.od@gmail.com) or Michele Magnuson (michelemagnuson1@gmail.com).

As I have communicated to LPHS parents and athletes throughout the school year, the cooperation, understanding and patience that has been displayed this school year by all involved in Slicer athletics has been nothing short of remarkable. I cannot express enough how appreciative the athletic department is for the cooperative attitude all Slicers have taken during this most unusual time. Thanks again, and remember: “Once a Slicer, Always a Slicer.” 

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