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Chillin' with Dylan—The Female Athlete—A Reiteration

November 29, 2012

By DYLAN MALONE
    Ok, here goes.
    I’ve never had to retrace my steps in this column before but after reading some of the comments made about the female athlete a few weeks ago, I felt the need to clear the air.
    First and foremost, I am not beyond being wrong from time to time. When given the chance, I can say confidently that I can come through with an explanation and/or an apology. In this case I was not given the opportunity for either…so I’ll try now.
    I have the utmost respect for women and I always will. I believe in chivalry like door opening, paying for meals, and the always classy coat in the puddle so she can cross the street trick. I also am a big fan of girls’ sports. I think they should play them and they should be allowed to. I’m so in favor of it, however that sometimes my point can get muddled in the details.
    The tone in which I talked about Bellmont was fueled by the wish to see a better girls’ basketball program.  After reading it several times over, it was the wrong tone. While noble in theory, chastising the girls who chose not to play to focus on other sports may have been a little harsh.
    My message was more of a hope that there be no girls who feel pushed into one decision or another by anyone but themselves. I did not name any names in the column as I was not trying to single anybody out but I can understand why those who spoke out felt the need to do so.
    The funny thing is, I absolutely support the volleyball team. I enjoyed seeing a team that was supposed to be mediocre compared to past successes bring home another sectional title. While I don’t sit at my computer and try to write to get everyone’s approval, I also by contrast do not go out of my way to try and piss people off. I could have just as easily pointed to girls who leave softball to join spring soccer leagues. I just chose the season we happened to be in, that’s all.
    My column is meant to be thought provoking. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s as simple as that. I do apologize to those girls who felt singled out, though. Let me remedy that by saying that Bellmont is not the only school who struggles with numbers.
    As small as all three county schools are, we are bound to struggle with numbers for a long time to come. I should have noted that Bellmont was lucky to have a freshman team at all. Most schools in this region don’t in 3A or lower. In the remarks from readers, that was one of the only things I took away. While there are many things to think about in the world of sports, as far as high school is concerned, it is probably not a bad idea to stick to the positive.
    If girls are leaving sports to focus on other sports, I just hope that it is their choice. Rather than say that in that way, my words were chosen poorly and I focused on the negative side of that aspect.
    Again, I have not and did not call out anyone individually. The only name drops I give in my column are either for praise or (if I know the athlete personally) a constructive criticism. I also get involved with the student athletes every Thursday. You can find a Bellmont student on page 2B under the “Athlete of the Week.” As a side note, any AC or SA fans who wonder why we don’t have an AotW for the Jets and Stars, we simply need a sponsor. Email me for details if anyone is interested in funding an athlete from Adams Central or South Adams.
    It was also brought to my attention that some readers are not a fan of this column to begin with. I respect their opinion but would like to remind them that my priority as a sports editor in this column to bring entertainment in the form of thought provoking sports topics. I understand that not everyone will like the content of my column all the time (or anytime for some people), but I certainly do not feel as though I should be personally attacked for my opinions. If what I write does not interest you, please feel free to sample some of the other articles featured in the sports section.

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