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One Moment,Please... Youth: Inspired while inspiring

Fri, Nov 8th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

It’s not every week that we dedicate our entire front page to high school sports coverage. As matter of fact, up until the Lanesboro Burros went to state in football back in 2010, we had never historically committed any resources to local sports coverage.

But, when the Burros went to state in football, that momentum inspired our team to forge ahead with high school sports coverage.

Since that game-changer, we have been lucky enough to have Paul Trende, born and raised in Fillmore County, covering our local high school sports -- a total of seven school districts. And, when it comes to high school sports, Paul knows his stuff. I look at Paul Trende with the Fillmore County Journal and Devon Krueger with KFIL-FM as a combined wealth of information relating to our local sports teams. Our area is very luck to have both of them and their dedication.

But, none of this sports coverage would mean anything if we didn’t have these inspiring youth out there raising the bar in all regards.

Whether it is Burro Niko Anderson setting a high school state record for touchdowns, or Falcon Taylor Case achieving a career milestone with her 1,000th kill, or Gophers Nate Skare kicking a game-winning field goal -- these high schoolers are an inspiration for all of us.

And, as I look to my children, ages 6 and 9, I am excited for them. They are proud to attend Fillmore Central and watch the Lady Falcons pour their talent and energy into a state tournament title match.

Trust me, my commentary isn’t all about high school sports. This is all about our young people showing us they are courageous and yet humble. Their actions speak louder than words. They are inspired to do great things, and at the same time they are inspiring younger generations who look up to them.

It’s not just in sports.

The youth participating in area high school bands who strive to be the best become an inspiration.

And, those who accelerate in academics with Knowledge Bowl become an inspiration.

I am especially proud of the eight high school students participating in our 15th annual Journal Student Writing Project. As you flip through today’s paper, you’ll see another contribution by Kirby O’Connor.

There are many adults who wouldn’t take a gamble on putting their opinion out there for everyone to dissect, so to have these young people put their name on it really says a lot.

I recall a few years ago when the very bright and talented Anton Adamek addressed the issue of high school students throwing the word “gay” around in a deragatory manner. He took that issue head-on, and I think he prevailed in getting his point made.

Recently, a Mabel-Canton High School student, Kaysie Kerns, wrote her column titled “Molly or death?” Kaysie brought up an issue that may be facing teens in our schools. She talked about an extreme form of Ecstasy that can literally lead to death.

All of these youth I have mentioned have something in common. They are setting the bar; for themselves and for those who will follow in their footsteps. And, the interesting thing is that most of them don’t realize that all eyes are on them.

These youth and those who succeed them will be leading this country some day. We had better pay attention to how we are raising them. Their character, their ambition, their integrity, their passion for what they do, their goal-setting -- all important.

While they are inspired to do such great things, they are inspiring our next generations.

Or, at least we hope so.

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