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Favoring of sports teams prevents support

A+large+group+of+students+cheer+on+the+varsity+football+team+at+a+home+game+against+Loyola+Blakefield+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+8.+Student+support+like+this%2C+however%2C+is+not+always+visible+at+events+of+under-recognized+teams.
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Favoring of sports teams prevents support

A large group of students cheer on the varsity football team at a home game against Loyola Blakefield on Friday, Sept. 8. Student support like this, however, is not always visible at events of under-recognized teams.

A large group of students cheer on the varsity football team at a home game against Loyola Blakefield on Friday, Sept. 8. Student support like this, however, is not always visible at events of under-recognized teams.

Nicole Hunter

A large group of students cheer on the varsity football team at a home game against Loyola Blakefield on Friday, Sept. 8. Student support like this, however, is not always visible at events of under-recognized teams.

Nicole Hunter

Nicole Hunter

A large group of students cheer on the varsity football team at a home game against Loyola Blakefield on Friday, Sept. 8. Student support like this, however, is not always visible at events of under-recognized teams.

Annemarie Bonner, Perspectives Editor

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As I sit at a Friday night football game, I look around and see immense, unwavering support from students, parents, teachers, and alumni who have arrived in large groups. However, this same support is not always visible at tennis matches, cross country meets, golf matches, swim meets, and other events of less-recognized teams.

Students cannot be forced to go to other sporting events, but they should be challenged to do so to motivate the athletes, encourage the teams who struggle to come out with a championship, and promote school spirit. A current method of encouraging student attendance for under recognized teams is lacking and that must be changed for the benefit of student athletes.

These events and others similar to them can be better supported if they have the same recognition as the more “popular” sports such as basketball, soccer, or football. As a student, I rarely hear about an upcoming game besides football or basketball. This poses an issue of how we as a school support all of our teams.

Recently, I have overheard students say “I didn’t know we had a golf team” or “We have a tennis team?” This is discouraging since students should know everything we offer here. It is wrong for students to be uninformed about all sporting events.

As a field hockey player, I definitely notice the difference in attendance between my sport and an average football or basketball game. I rarely see more than just the friends and family of the athletes participating at field hockey games, and the same thing happens at games of other unrecognized sports.

With that being said, we need to make an effort to be more encouraging and supportive of all sports. The administration and athletic department  can announce when athletic events are occurring and encourage students to go outside of their attendance habits and motivate the players to do their best, despite wins or losses.

While it is true that some sports win more championships and bring more student athletes to our school than others, all sports should be valued the same amount despite their successes or lack thereof. The challenge is to further support unrecognized teams and provide them with the audience that can motivate them to play their best.

Team members also seem to play better when they have support, especially from the student body. It is encouraging to know that members of all grade levels are there to watch and cheer the team on, especially as an athlete participating. It is a very sinking feeling to know that no one appears to care about your sport enough to even attend, especially when you have a game or match. In my experiences, having no fans causes a lack of motivation and a thought that you don’t even have to play your best since hardly anyone is there.

My challenge to students is to level out the athletic event attendance, cheer on the teams who struggle to earn a title, motivate their peers, and maintain school spirit for all sports, and not just the sports that have the most recognition. 

Annemarie Bonner is a Perspectives Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.

 

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Favoring of sports teams prevents support