High School Sports Controversy

High School Sports Controversy

Makayla Bast, Journalist

One of the most fundamental parts of a high school identity has significantly lost its popularity as the 21st century graduates the new generation of high schoolers. 


Parents of current students could rip out a handful of colorful stories and memories from when they geared up for high school sports. From the letterman jackets to gamedays, the peak of adolescence was attained if you were an athlete, playing for your school. At least for the older generations. 


In this modern age, I could name several of my athletic peers who excel in their given sport, yet choose to stick to their club team or altogether transfer to a more respected high school for sports.


A new question is inquired as to why high school level athletes feel the need to forgo the joys of youthful sports in their community for a hopeful future. The question is why, if they still have the same chances of getting noticed at their high school, would they executively elect to sacrifice these years of having fun. 


The years you get to wear the school crest on your chest and flaunt your jersey off at school are some of the most formative experiences for filling athletes with the joys of the sport. Even if they plan to pursue an athletic career beyond high school, they should not cut themselves short of all highschool experiences for this goal.


Representing your local team by playing high school sports allows athletes to learn the ethics of community and loyalty. Those who deem it necessary to relocate their talents to a prestigious school in the hopes of being noticed more, ultimately end up buried in the heaps of other talent and do not lead the people they live by. Rather than having the chance to be the best Mountain Lion here at Ridge, transfers occur and the sports teams drip dry of talent eager to stay in forest green and burgundy. Why not play for the home team and win your school a championship trophy, then never acclaim anything when the overly talented flood around you?


These super sport school teams bring together a group of strangers all looking to achieve their better futures, not bring success to the name of the school that is stitched across their chest. They care more about the number on their back and the box score numbers next to their name than the school or academy they now call home. This transferring of athletes to “sports schools” also cuts short their education, in the priority of athletics. Unfortunately, even if they make it to the next level, they will now only be behind on the academic side of their allotted student-athlete title. Transferring is a risk that robs the stepping stones of an enjoyable high school experience.


Another anomaly for high school sports is that athletes would prefer to stick to their club teams, even during high school season, in the hopes of more exposure. They are still playing the same amount as the school team, but miss the opportunity to get to know the athletes in the community. The backyard sports they grew up being inspired by, are directly integrated into the teenage years through high school sports. Club sports bring together vast amounts of people, with different goals. Why not bond with those around you, the same ones you grew up playing with, and pay tribute to the school you represent academically, athletically as well. 


Club sports can still be played after the brief couple of months that high school sports get their season. The same showcase tournaments and competition can be delivered on by athletes, even if they play for their school. They might even have a better time if they are looking forward to their games after school and get to hear their big wins announced on the morning announcements. Memories that will follow one for the rest of their life, especially when their kids one day ask about high school. The high school experience can be more than tireless striving for a 4.0 or going to a multitude of club meetings. It can be a place where you can lead in your given sport with some of your best friends.


High school sports may not hold up in competition to the sports teams of private athletic schools and club teams, but the impact they have on students is irreplaceable. Skipping out on this can only hurt you. If you end up at the same school for collegiate sports at the end of the day, why not enjoy the journey and make some of your best teammates, while you are still a kid.