Through the Uprights: Mike Lavieri 9/30

Mike Lavieri

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC senior writer
Posted: September 30, 2016 - 6:22 AM



I know it’s been a week or two since Shawnee Mission South coach Brett Oberzan lost eight seniors — three from dismissal and five who voluntarily left the program.

I’m not here to discuss what transpired or why it happened.

But I want to dig a little bit into a more problematic issue at hand.

This should be a non-story. No offense to SM South, but the Raiders are 0-4 after coming off a 1-8 2015 campaign. A lack of wins equals a lack of coverage. That’s the way it goes in the industry.

I’m going to speculate, but my guess is the only reason the Kansas City Star picked up the story was because a parent dropped the reporter a tip.

If that’s the case, what was the end goal of this tip? To reinstate the player(s)? If that happened, there would still be discord between Oberzan and the players.

Was it to put Oberzan on the hot seat? High school sports aren’t like college sports. Oberzan doesn’t get to recruit players like college coaches. Like college, he’ll have players for four years, but it’s usually less as freshman and sophomores don’t typically play varsity.

What this group of seniors did was selfish. It does nothing but harm the team and the program. I applaud them for sticking up for each other, but there’s a better way than firing off a tweet.

There’s a reason why Oberzan benched running back Cameron Union, but only Oberzan knows why he did it.

Seniors aren’t entitled to a starting spot or even playing time; it still has to be earned.

If anything, it’s harmful because that sense of entitlement will be expected in the future because they’ve been handed everything.

What good comes out of entitlement? What lessons can be learned? I don’t think any.

It starts with the parents understanding it’s OK for their kids to fight their own battles. I also understand parents will always advocate for their children, but at the same time they need to take a step back and look at it from the coach’s perspective, which is hard because a parent doesn’t go to watch other kids play.

Coaches aren’t just coaches, they are teaching life lessons. It just seems hard to teach lessons in an environment where coddling is prevalent.