Ode to the underaprreciated athlete


Story by Riley Rogers, Co-Veiwpoint Editor


Texas. Known for the love of football. Known for the intense rivalries. Known for the dedicated fans. This lifestyle is an important part of southern culture that begins from the day you are born. This tradition has only one fault: the underappreciation of other athletes. This is mainly apparent in high schools, much like Texas High. The huge focus on the football team, win or lose, is a great way to show great school spirit, as well as a family-like mentality. The other sports at this school seem to be stepped on by the football pandemic.  When was the last time you heard about of who went to a cross-country meet, softball game or a volleyball game? And did you even know we have a powerlifting team?

How about this:
Did you know that the varsity tennis team has 24 consecutive district championships, as well as being number three in state?

Did you know that the girls’ varsity soccer team has won or tied for district four consecutive years?

Did you know that the swim team has been district and regional champions for over 10 years?

Did you know that the girls’ golf team is currently undefeated in district?

Your stomach is in knots, tossing and turning; nerves. You step onto the field, track, court, course or dive block; you look around. All you see are parents. Maybe a few friends or STUCO members who are forced to be there. It’s ok though, you don’t need three hundred students to cheer you on to victory. But, some recognition would be nice. You never get a pat on the back, no congratulations from your peers, not even a good game; because no one would know if it was a good game or not. But it’s not a setback. Looking past the lack of school support is easy because it’s never been there.

Sometimes it gets discouraging. When the game, match, meet or tournament is the final minutes and it’s all on the line. Then out of luck, skill, or maybe just more will power, you do it. You score the final goal, win the gold medal, finish in first place, ace the final serve. Your team runs to congratulate you and celebrate with you; you get a hug from your mom and a high five from your dad. Then the next day you have a tiny blurb in the newspaper; one that is so small that you only see if you are really looking for it. And that’s it. Nothing else.

Why? Why do you work so hard for something that goes unnoticed by everyone? It’s a passion and love that only few are able to understand and appreciate. It’s something that you cannot imagine your life without. Your teammates are your family, and your coaches are your mentors on and off of the field. It’s what you wake up and go to school for. You many not get the spotlight you deserve or need but that’s not why you play. You play for your team, for the love of competition, for all the memories, but most importantly you play for you.

The point is that the football team players are not the only athletes at this school. So this is for you, the underappreciated athlete. The kids that work hard, practice long and play games that no one attends. This is for the kids that get crappy seconds on practice locations and show up anyway. This is for the kids that play the game for themselves, not for the fans. But most importantly this is for the kids that win and don’t get recognized. This is for the kids who have hope that one day they will get the recognition they deserve. Here’s your round of applause.