HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

HP Bagpipe

Winter, Spring Sports Struggle With Lack of Recognition

Sports other than football lack sizable audience due to weather, culture
Photo by Will Gaffey
Soccer captain Paul Michael Healy poses dejectedly on the empty stadium stands.

While pep rallies, announcements, and events such as senior dress-up week build hype for each football game, other sports teams struggle to fill the stands.

Despite their best attempts, efforts to promote their games boil down to word of mouth, and many of these players believe that it’s time for change.

“The coaches are great, the team is great, and I think we have the potential to be very successful,” senior varsity soccer player Alex Taverna said. “So it’s always a little bit disappointing when you give the game your all, and you don’t get much recognition outside of the team.”

With crowds that are sometimes made up of nothing more than family members and a few close friends, sports with less recognition often struggle to gather a sizable audience at their games, and it has an impact on team morale.

“We all get bummed out, especially the varsity players, if no one shows up to our games,” sophomore JV Gold soccer player Andre Maldjian said. “It’s not like we need the stands to be full; just a decent showing is enough to bring the energy.

On the other hand, Taverna acknowledges that multiple factors can play into the disparity between the two programs’ recognition.

“Our pre-season is in December, and our season begins in January, so it’s usually pretty cold,” Taverna said. “I don’t know many people that want to be outside late at night when it’s cold out.

Still, Taverna believes that football occupies most of the limelight at the school, and feels that soccer players’ morale would benefit from greater community recognition.

“Not to discredit football; their program does just as much if not more than we do to hype up their games,” Taverna said. “It’s just that the amount of effort that everyone on the [soccer] team puts in is tremendous, and the hype for our games pales in comparison to football game hype.”

Of course, there are games that gather sizable showings, but in order for that to happen, it’s necessary that the student body be made aware of these games.

“One time last year, [Mr. Chuang] had all of the AP Chemistry students come to one of our games to celebrate Campbell Sharpe’s birthday,” senior softball captain Audrey Schedler said. “I think there were 150 people in the stands that day. We only get 30 people, usually, so it was crazy.”

However, this game was an outlier, and further efforts made by the team to recreate this level of excitement have resulted in disappointment.

“Some girls would really like for there to be more school spirit surrounding our games,” Schedler said. “Ultimately, though, because we play in the spring and there’s no pep rallies around that time, it has made it very hard to do anything about this.”
In fact, once the football season ends, pep rallies go from being a weekly event to a rare occurrence.

“No matter what, football is still going to be the most popular sport because we’re in Texas. But I do think that there could be some steps taken to make it more balanced.”

Sports like softball aren’t the only groups impacted by the overwhelming importance of the football season. The Highland Belles also feel the repercussions.

“We have, what, four pep rallies in the spring? And two of them don’t really count,” senior Highland Belles president Ella Munn said.

The Belles competition season is from January to March, and after that, the graduating seniors have little to no opportunities to perform in front of the student body.

“It’s weird how after football season, [we’re] almost done with pep rallies,” Munn said. “The pep rally that’s in April, the later one, the senior bells don’t perform at that one, [only] the new [Belles] that just made [the team]. It’s like we’re off the team at that point so I feel like we all wish there were more [pep rallies] for sure.

Of course, spring sports, such as softball and soccer, are heavily impacted by the lack of spring pep rallies, as there isn’t another way to address the student body in such a direct manner.

“Other than the announcements and word of mouth, there really isn’t any good avenue that we can take to spread the word,” Maldjian said. “[Those are] fine for a little bit, but at a certain point you feel awkward telling people about your game for the fifth time.”

This has led many of these players to question why it is exactly that we don’t have pep rallies during the spring semester.

“School spirit is at a low after Christmas break, partially because of the lack of pep rallies,” said Taverna. “If spring pep rallies were introduced, I’m sure that this could change for the better.”

In fact, more pep rallies would take a heavy weight off of the student body’s shoulders.

“It would be super nice,” Shedler said. “It would allow for us to have a less stressful Friday, which I know we would all appreciate, and I would love for softball games to have some more hype.”

It would require a sizable decision for the high school to start implementing spring pep rallies, but if the school’s spring teams stay on their path of success, the opportunity for such a change might one day arise.

“We have a very good team this year,” said Taverna. “So I think we have a good shot at making change.”

About the Contributor
Will Gaffey
Will Gaffey, Design editor
What are your favorite TV shows/movies? His Dark Materials, Game of Thrones, Dead Poets Society, and Puss and Boots 2 Who are your favorite music artists? Sublime, Third Eye Blind, Kendrick, and Cage The Elephant What causes are you passionate about? I am extremely passionate about all things related to the environment