Local boxer to compete at STJO

Cove Leader-Press
Jacob Valencia, a 14-yearold freshman at Copperas Cove High School will compete in the South Texas Junior Olympics Boxing Tournament in Laredo this weekend. The recent transfer from Slaton is a two-time National Champion. He is a two-time National Brown Glove Champion and a Golden Glove winner. Valencia, who has been competing in boxing since he was 8-years-old, will fight for a chance to advance to compete at the next level in the Regional Golden Gloves Tournament in El Paso in May. Valencia began boxing in an effort to combat obesity and diabetes. Trained by his father, Roberto Laboy, Valencia has dropped over 75 pounds and added weight in the form of championship belts. “What started out as a way to fight diabetes and gain control of weight ended up in a two-time National Champion,” said Jacob’s mother, Eleanor Valencia. Valencia was 100 pounds at 8-years-old but through training and competition, he managed to drop a lot of the weight and picked up a couple championships en route. After a two-year layoff the family relocated to Copperas Cove in September of 2013 where he re-entered the boxing ring. In July of 2014 he weighed 225 pounds and nine months later he is now in the 154lbs weight class looking to bring another title to Cove. “Jacob has been competing in the sport of boxing since he was 8-years-old,” said Eleanor. “After a twoyear set back he is back at the gym with a total loss of 75 pounds.” Both National Brown Glove titles, as well as the Golden Glove title, has all been won since moving to Cove. Valencia, who will turn 15 in the midst of the tournament, trains in his home gym with his father. “My husband trains him in a small garage type room inside our three-bedroom home,” said Eleanor. The Valencia family left yesterday for the three-day tournament that runs through Sunday. mandatory school attendance necessary? I think wellintentioned politicians often try to make a difference. My question is, “Does mandatory school attendance accomplish the goal of educating each and every child”? Obviously it does not. Consequently, rather than treating symptoms, I would rather treat the disease. I would try to change our thoughts about public education. Should public schools assume the role of parents? Should legislators think that forcing every kid to sit in classroom would lead to a better educated populace? Do public schools think they meet the needs of each and every child in the district? I would rather see the politicians do at least three things; (1) Repeal mandatory public school attendance laws, (2) Repeal the child-labor laws that keep youngsters out of the work-force and (3) Fix the funding for public education. There was a time in this country when youngsters had a choice of going to school or going to work. There was a time in this country when parents could not off-load their parental responsibilities on the public school teachers. There was a time in this country when school boards knew that they could not meet the needs of each and every hild. So, school administrators and teachers did the best they could. They would even allow students to attend other schools where they could advantage of a broader curriculum. I believe asking public schools to do more and more actually puts the school districts at a disadvantage for success. “Keeping kids in school does not necessarily solve the drop-out problem”, (Davis, 1974). Davis stated “What makes educators think that if the kids don’t want to be there and the parents don’t care, a dose of Shakespeare can solve a myriad of cultural problems?” Many experts believe public schools turned out a better product 100 years ago than they do today (Rankin, 2010). Are politicians to blame for degradation of public education? “Changing the way we charge students for skipping school will not solve the problems of public education”, (Stifflemire, Jewell and Brock, 2015). Thought for the week, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” Abraham Maslow

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