The South Dakota All-Star Games are not just for athletes.
Not only do the best recent high school graduates show up in Aberdeen, but so do the best coaches and officials.
It is fun to see all these wonderful people who care so much about kids - your kids - get a little credit. If you broke down coaches' salaries by the hour, it would add up to just a few cents.
Coaching these days is a 24/7 job. There are camps to attend and run, weight rooms to open and summer teams to watch.
Usually a couple weeks after the season ends, many coaches are back to work on next season.
Years ago, when the pads were put away, they were put away.
There is no off-season in 2011.
That is why parents and fans need to be so respectful of their coaches. Most of these women and men went to college to learn their craft. They are the ones who spend hours upon hours with your children. They are the ones filling in the parenting gaps at times.
If you are doctor who tells a coach what to do, what sense would it make for me to break into the operation room to tell the doctor how to remove the gall bladder?
If you are a farmer harvesting your crop, do you want me hanging around and giving you advice on how to run your hundred-some thousand dollar machinery? What if I shouted it in your ear and added an expletive or two?
If you are a business owner, how about I tell you who to hire (makes the team, get it?) and who not to hire? What if I go on to tell you when to have them work (play) and when not to?
Back off your coaches. Respect them. Show your coaches love in defeat and in victory.
And thank them. You can never thank them enough.
If your child is having a problem with their coach, let your child handle it. It is a great life lesson. When she or he gets older and has a full-time job and has trouble with their boss, are you going to step in then too?
This is their time to shine, be average or fail. This is their sport. These are their lessons to be learned.
The same goes for officials. They are getting hard to recruit.
Why spend your night after a long day on the job to drive countless miles only to take a bunch of abuse for a few dollars?
The best officials are doing the job because they love the kids and the games. Think of that the next time you stand up to shout something stupid at a basketball game.
Here are the All-Stars coaches, according to the All-Star program:
Wrestling: Dale Daugherty of Tea Area for the South and Mark Ernster of Sioux Falls Lincoln for the North.