A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Our View: Football loss could be a gain

We weren’t taken aback at the news that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is ending its football program.

Football is always expensive, with lots of players, lots of equipment. Very few of the football players — at least in recent years — had local or state connections, so it was hard to drum up any sort of local following. And, finally, there is no football field anywhere near the campus, so “home” games were played as far away as Superior.

But you know what is close to the college campus? A soccer complex.

When FDLTCC began its athletics program, soccer wasn’t really on the menu. But now the Minnesota College Athletic Conference — the organizational body for two-year technical and community college athletic programs — includes men’s and women’s soccer as one of its sports. Other MCAC sports include football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, golf, baseball, softball and clay target shooting.

A Thunder men’s soccer team could play conference foes Lake Superior College, Minnesota West Community & Technical College, and Riverland and Anoka-Ramsey community colleges, along with nearby teams such as St. Scholastica and University of Wisconsin-Superior, just like the LSC team did last year. A women’s team would join three other teams in the conference, including LSC, Anoka-Ramsey and Rochester Career and Technical College.

While some would argue that sports should not be a part of the high school or college experience, we acknowledge that they are embedded in our culture, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon. And it’s a fact: sports can drive some kids to do better at school or even to continue school — that’s how badly they want to play.

One final pitch: It would be wonderful to see a fairly equal mix of local and not-so-local players on all the Thunder teams. It would benefit the students by expanding their horizons and give the community a hometown reason to go and watch the Thunder teams play.

We welcome your input to the Pine Knot News community newspaper. Send your thoughts, letters, or news to [email protected].