Throughout the school year, many student athletes feel forgotten due to the nature of high school. Football trumps all in the fall, Basketball and Hockey in the winter and Lacrosse in the spring, but where does that leave the other sports? They might be doing better and show more improvement but that doesn’t do anything to boost their fan attendance rate. Especially in the fall, football fever spreads like wildfire throughout the school. Hundreds of people turn out, the Panther Pit comes out in full force, and Sweet Home looks as if it was one community. Take a look at any other fall sport game and it looks the complete opposite. The little spectators are parents, the Panther Pit is nowhere to be found and it looks like Sweet Home doesn’t support all of it’s teams
Now, many people argue that “other sports don’t matter” or “people can only make it to certain games”, but they don’t understand the flaw in their reasoning. By saying other sports don’t matter, it seems as if one is simply stating that the athletes of a team are less important than the more “popular” sports such as football. The people who argue that some can only make it to certain games, are the same people who would rather spend 3+ hours every Friday in the fall watching football attempt to win, when they could be watching other teams just as equally important win any other day.
Funding is also something that comes into question when talking about sports equality at Sweet Home. Many athletes feel as if funding isn’t allocated equally for each team, and that the better performing teams should receive better funding. In a recent meeting with Sweet Home’s athletic director Mr. LaRoach, he stated that all though teams have no set amount of funding each season, and the amount of money per team fluctuates on a yearly basis, as does the jersey and equipment replacement. So even though you may not always notice it, the athletic department is always providing newer necessities, like the new jerseys provided to both Varisty Soccer teams this year and the equipment to the gymnastics team.
Also among all of the funding and equality talk, practices are always mentioned. Many feel as if the “more important” teams get more turf time or gym time, hence football needing two hours to “warm-up” before a game. Mr. LaRoach stated that there is a set schedule for turf complex, which is all decided by the coaches of the Varsity Sports, therefore allowing for equal practice and turf time for each team.
The worst spot in Sweet Home sport’s equality is the Panther Pit. They can make it to every home Football game, a majority of the Men’s Varsity Volleyball games, as well as the Basketball and Hockey games, yet you rarely see the Pit outside of these sports. Not once (even at a playoff game) have I ever seen the Pit at any Field Hockey, Soccer, Swimming, Track or other sporting events at Sweet Home.
In conclusion, Sweet Home may seem like they have this “equality” and “no athlete left behind” thing down but there is definitely some flaws to the system on the students part that need to be changed within the coming years.
Matt is in his senior year at Sweet Home High School and this year will be his fourth year with The Panther Eye. Matt is the current Editor-in-Chief and maintains all Panther Eye social channels. He enjoys soccer, music and participating in Stage Crew. If interested in joining The Panther Eye team contact Matt using the options below.