HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
December 17, 2007

No argument is needed here

By Aaron Schultz

There aren’t many, but there are a few things that really get under my skin when it comes to high school athletics.

A few examples of things that really get under my skin are over jealous parents, coaches who think there is only one way for an athlete to preform a certain task, complaints that offensive lineman don’t get enough credit in the paper, and whenever anybody suggests that high school athletes should only focus on one sport.

Now, I’m sure there are a few other items that get to me, but nothing bugs me more than any talk of young, high school athletes playing just one sport.

Of course, if an athlete, by their own choice, prefers to play just one sport, that is great. One is better than none.

But way too often, I hear how an athlete should just focus on football, or baseball, or basketball, and put all the time they can into that sport.

I wholeheartedly disagree, and think that all coaches, and parents should encourage young athletes to play as many sports as they can.

I, myself, played three sports in high school, and when I was younger, was encouraged to give up one of my sports to focus on another by a coach.

I didn’t follow the request, and am very glad I didn’t.

However, during the summer entering my sophomore year, I made a choice to quit football and play fall baseball.

No one encouraged me to quit football – I just didn’t enjoy my freshman year.

Luckily for me, I had a coach, Mark Detlefsen, who grabbed me and talked me into going back out for football.

I ended up loving football, and if not for that talk by Dets, I would have been a two-sport athlete. I couldn’t even imagine, looking back now, not playing football in high school.

Even at that young age, I knew that baseball was going to be my sport. It was my first love, and what I wanted to do at the next level.

And while I have no doubt that playing fall baseball instead of football for those three years would have helped me improve my game, I would never give up the memories I have from the football field, for anything.

This brings me to the Dec. 6 sports edition of the StarTribune.

On page 6C, the Trib had one of their very short winter sports’ previews for wrestling, boys’ swimming, and gymnastics.

In the gymnastics preview, Trib writer Jim Paulsen had five story lines to look for in the upcoming season.

Story line number two had a headline that read “An argument against the multisport athlete.”

It then goes on to talk about Mayer Lutheran senior Danielle Pallas.

Pallas, while a Mayer Lutheran student, competes on the Watertown-Mayer gymnastics team.

Last season, Pallas dominated the Class 1A state tournament, winning vault, uneven bars, and the all-around competition as a junior.

However, while playing soccer this fall, Pallas suffered a back injury that will keep her off the mats of the gymnastics room for some time.

In the story, her coach, Steve Hangartner says, “We don’t know when, or if, she’ll be back.”

I, personally, don’t know if she is already back, or if Pallas will be able to compete at all this year.

If she can’t, it will be a very tough situation, and my heart goes out to her.

With that said, for Paulsen to even make a reference that this is an argument against the multisport athlete, is a joke to me.

There should never be an argument against the multisport athlete, ever.

All kids should be encouraged to play everything they can.

What is to say that if Pallas didn’t play soccer in the fall, and instead was at a club working on her gymnastics routine, she couldn’t have gotten hurt the same way.

When you start questioning injuries in sports, then you are going down a slippery slope.

If you want to go down that road, then someone could argue that if Pallas had gotten hurt in a practice, that she was already good enough in that area and shouldn’t have been practicing it so much, and in turn, wouldn’t have gotten hurt.

See what I mean? Pretty ridiculous argument.

Anyways, that happens to be one of my pet peeves, just so you all know now.

As for Pallas, I wish her all the best with her injury, and really hope she heals properly and is able to come back and compete once healthy.

Top 100 movie quotes

The top 100 movie quotes picked by ESPN continue, with quotes 90 through 86.

• 90: “I love Brian Piccolo. And tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him.” The movie this comes from is “Brian’s Song.

Wow, yet another movie I haven’t seen. I must need to stay home more and watch more TV.

• 89: “You better watch it, Dr. Death. I’m pretty damn fast for a Caucasian.”

This quote is from the movie “The Best of Times.” Again, another movie I haven’t seen. In fact, I have never even heard of this one. So, again, I will pass on commenting on this quote.

• 88: “Dead meat!” This is from a so-so movie, “Rocky III.”

The quote is alright, but I don’t think it should be in anyone’s list of top 100 anything.

• 87: “I wanna see the kid in the net who wouldn’t take the test.” This comes from one of my all-time favorite movies, not just sports movies, of all time – “Miracle.”

The movie “Miracle” tells the story of Herb Brooks and the 1980 Olympic hockey team.

The quote is Brooks talking to his goaltender Jim Craig early on in the movie, when Craig, after refusing to take a psychology test, finally gives in and takes it.

They could have taken pretty much any quote from this movie, and I would think that it should be in the top 10.

• 86: “Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn! Einhorn is a man! Oh, my God! Einhorn is a man!”

Alright, I love the quote, and the movie it comes from – “Ace Ventura.”

I do have a big problem with this quote being on the list since it has nothing to do with sports.

Sure, the movie centers around the kidnapping of Miami Dolphin quarterback Dan Marino, but the quote has nothing to do with sports.

Great movie, but a horrible decision to add this quote to the list.