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FREDERICK — Frederick High School Athletic Director Kris Keith fits the mold of all administrators this time of the year.
He wants a successful athletic program, a state title or two and a good experience for his student-athletes.
He also wants something else from his charges.
“We need to have some kids with imaginations, kids who wonder what it would be like to put on the shoes of LeBron James or play tennis at the U.S. Open,” Keith said. Frederick will field its first interscholastic tennis teams this school year. “That’s the fantastic part of being a kid. It’s huge.”
To go with that, Keith is looking for a group of student-athletes to serve as good examples for the others.
“We need kids who can dream big and are willing to do what needs to be done to be good student-athletes,” Keith added. “I’d love to see good kids go to school schools, and it would be great to see athletics help pay for it.”
However, the trend in prep athletics is for specialization. It’s an opportunity for those with money. But Keith cautioned there was another group that could get lost in the shuffle.
“If kids can afford to play on these travel teams, they will get some great opportunities,” he said. “But for those kids who don’t have the deep pockets, there’s going to be a sacrifice. We have to serve both sets of kids. Not every kid has that opportunity.
“Travel outfits, like Gold Crown, make a lot of money for the things they do,” Keith continued. “It’s different competition vs. a pick-up game of basketball in the park. I hope they have the structure to teach the kids how the games should be played.
“Gold Crown and club sports do provide some great opportunities . They are highly competitive but are also expensive,” he continued. We as parents spend a lot of money so our children can take part. Frederick needs two- and three-sport athletes. We do not need specialists. Work hard, hustle, have fun. Kids need to get dirty and enjoy themselves.”
Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.