first_imgCommentary by Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Five Cueball thoughts for August 16, 2015…1. School starting…Most parents love their children. Yet, parents aren’t out of line cheering the start of the new school year beginning across Sumner County this week. We love our children, but sometimes we love them from afar. The school schedule in Kansas seems set in stone. So it would take a massive nuclear war and a near extinction of mankind to change the start time of schools across the state. Nevertheless, may I make a suggestion?With budget shortfalls and sky-high utility bills, wouldn’t it be smart to move the start of school away from the hottest days of the year? In California, schools don’t start until after Labor Day. Subsequently, they don’t end until June (see story here).Judging from my own utility bills, my most outrageous one comes from August. How much money would be saved by school districts across the state, if school was held for the full month of May when temperatures are more mild?Of course moving the school calendar back two or three weeks provides some logistical issues when it comes to sports. But I contend that would give coaches a two-week window to deal with practice without class restrictions. We could crank the season up immediately during the first week of school. What better time to end the first weekend of school with a good old fashioned fall football game?But I’m whistling in the wind. Changing the school schedule, built in the days before any of us had running water, is as likely as getting the sun to rise in the west, or the Kansas legislature to implement good legislation.2. Youth football…Coincidentally, football starts for all ages this week. I love football, I adore football, and I think we as a society are better because of football. But I do think at the lowest level, i.e. youth football, it’s a bit much.Youth football leagues across the state of Kansas start their season in early August and some teams won’t end until late November. That’s a tremendously long season that lasts longer than most high school seasons.Also, parents have to be cognizance of the dangers of playing tackle football, especially during the brain development stage between the ages of 10 and 12.A study of former NFL  players published this week by researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine and Brigham and Women’s Hospital came to the following conclusions:The research found a bigger risk of alterations in brain development for players who played tackle football between the ages of 10 and 12 — a critical window in the development of a child’s brain — than for those who waited longer to start playing the game. The study is the first of its kind to show an association between early exposure to repetitive head impacts and structural brain changes later in life.In practical terms, those alterations could result in a variety of challenges. A separate study from the same group of researchers found that men who started tackle football before age 12 were more likely to struggle with fundamental cognitive function — like memory, reasoning and planning. They were also three times more likely to face “clinically-meaningful depression.”Plus, there is little evidence that youth football guarantees success later. I remember asking former Wellington High School head football coach Linn Hibbs when my oldest son was of age whether youth football was important to the success of future Crusaders. He said “no” — starting football in Wellington Middle School was just fine. My son never started playing football until his freshman year of high school and eventually became an honorable mention all league cornerback. Part of that might have been the game was still fresh to him by his senior year.Listen, I’m not condemning those who play youth football and the program here in Wellington is one of the best around. Wellington Youth Football teaches the importance of goal setting, fundamentals, conditioning and teamwork. And Wellington has always had a plethora of smart, positive coaches, who know the game. After all this is a football town.But there are risks and there are alternatives. For example, the Wellington Recreation Commission offers a sanctioned flag football program each autumn which does an excellent job of teaching the intricacies of the game and is a much shorter season. I know of at least two key starters on this year’s Crusader team who are products of the local flag football program.3. Donald Trump again…I try not to broach the same subject two weeks in a row, but Trump is most certainly worthy of the honor.According to last week’s Sumner Newscow poll, 34 percent of you think Trump will be the next President of the United States (see poll here). I’m think 34 percent of you are wrong.But I have to admit, Trump does intrigue me and I’m hoping he stays in the race, just because he makes things interesting. My feeling is right in line with actor Bryan Cranston, the guy who played Walter White in Breaking Bad — the greatest TV show ever made.He stated in the podcast Nerdist (see full article here):“There’s something so refreshing about shaking up that world that is all about being handled. And here comes this loose cannon who has terrible ideas and would be a horrible president, but there’s something great about his I-don’t-give-a-s— attitude that really kind of keeps others honest. I think it’s a surprise benefit to the country, actually.” 4. Ferguson fighting…I see people were rioting in Ferguson, Mo. again.Which makes me ponder. Don’t people get tired of destroying the town in the name of racial injustice?I wonder if any protesters whether it be in Ferguson, Baltimore or anyplace else think to themselves: “You know, I’m out here in this heat tearing up my neighborhood, getting tear gassed by these cops, getting arrested, and all that hassle of getting out of jail, when I could be home right now watching ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ on Netflix?”5. The week ahead …The Wellington City Council will be approving its 2015 City Budget this Tuesday. There will be a public hearing beforehand. If you don’t like what is in the budget or the fact there is possibly a 3-mill tax levy increase coming down the pike, perhaps you should make your way over to the council chambers at 317 South Washington this Tuesday, starting at 7 p.m. and let your voice be heard.That would be much more effective than crying on Facebook to people who have no authority to do anything about it.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (16) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +9 Vote up Vote down Karen · 260 weeks ago GOOD one this week Tracy…You have the RIGHT idea!!! I remember NEVER starting school until after Labor Day! You are also right on EVERYTHING else in this story! Report Reply 1 reply · active 260 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Ted Logan · 260 weeks ago “Of course moving the school calendar back two or three weeks provides some logistical issues when it comes to sports” I am surprised your point took this turn. “parents have to be cognizance of the dangers of playing tackle football, especially during the brain development stage between the ages of 10 and 12.” Have you ever met “youth football parent” ? Report Reply 0 replies · active 260 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Larry · 260 weeks ago I remember when I started school in Jr. High that we started after the Labor Day holiday and went until the end of May. Of course that has been over 50 years ago. Now my grandkids started school on Thursday and then the for the next two weeks go three days a week and the after Labor Day start the 5 day week. What is up with all the part time schooling. Report Reply 2 replies · active 260 weeks ago +4 Vote up Vote down JustMe · 260 weeks ago Your first sentence about the budget perfectly describes why it’s pointless for anyone to attend the meeting to voice their concerns about the budget. Report Reply 1 reply · active 260 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down crusader pride · 260 weeks ago The idea of saving money on utilities is incorrect as they would need to be on. You have sports teams using the facility to get that extra two weeks of practice in plus teachers and staff in the building as well. No gain. The reason for shortened weeks is basically because of in service. The idea was brought up a few years ago to have so many in service hours one or two mornings a week. This would have the students arriving later. That obviously didn’t fit into the daycare plans, understandable complaint. The state makes the rules and the District follows the guidelines. Wichita started last week. Some states started the week before them. I am thinking in the middle of May most will be glad that there is not two more weeks of school. Report Reply 2 replies · active 260 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down SuCoPride · 260 weeks ago It’s interesting to see the overall decline in the number of players on the football teams across the nation. I hear that one of the middle school classes may not even have 20 boys out for the team this year. I think the concussion fright is the leading cause of that decline. I won’t put my son in pads until he’s in middle school. Partly for the injury reason, but also because flag football generally allows all of the kids to play all of the positions, and have more fun with the game. Report Reply 3 replies · active 260 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Farming · 260 weeks ago Schools in rural areas need to be completed in mid May so kids can help with harvest Report Reply 0 replies · active 260 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! 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