Let the girls play

Junior Emily Feldman is one of Highland Park’s top returning players for next season. (Suzanne Tennant/Staff Photographer).

In Mundelein, that collective sigh of relief you hear is school officials glad that they didn’t step into this mess of a political debate over the Mustangs’ annual trip to Arizona. Mundelein’s girls basketball team has attended the Scottsdale Holiday Invitational for years, long before Highland Park was invited for this year’s tournament. Mundelein players even blogged about their last trip, which included shopping at the mall, an outing at a Go-Kart track and even a trip to the Grand Canyon. There is even a photo gallery.

Oh yeah, the Mustangs even played well enough to reach the semifinals before losing to host Desert Mountain.

But I haven’t seen this much national attention given to a North suburban high school since the Glenbrook North cheerleaders decided to throw a little party at a local forest preserve. The cancellation of the Highland Park girls basketball team’s trip to Scottsdale went national when Gov. Hockey Mom and former girls basketball player Sarah Palin (right) chimed in with her opinion.

My wife’s a high school teacher at Hinsdale Central and told me her school has a “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy about undocumented students. In Hinsdale, I really wouldn’t worry about that too much. When the Highland Park district’s statement cites that school officials are worried about the “safety and liberty” of its players, I’m guessing the Giants don’t have too many undocumented players.

Returning players from last year’s team are expected to be Lauren Evans, Ariel Swartz, Emily Feldman, Marguerite Biagi, Morgan Bartelstein, Brittany Gouletas, Emile Carlach, Lena Munzer, Briana Collier and Allison Grosky.

The Giants are coming off their first 21-win season and a CSL North championship. It was the best season in school history, but that has become overshadowed by a short-sighted decision by the administration.

Palin and talk radio host Amy Jacobson have even combined on a Facebook page on the issue.

Once the Huffington Post and bloggers such as Left Coast Rebel are through bashing Highland Park’s decision, I’ve got to believe administrators will ultimately back down and let the girls take their trip to Arizona.


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