Bennett from the Bleachers: WGHS should institute intramural sports program

Bennett_Column Black & WhiteBennett Durando
Sports Columnist

As frequent state contenders in multiple sports, WGHS takes only the best for its teams. The bar continues to rise along with Webster’s expectations. This leaves countless other student athletes with little or no way to play organized sports

Although there’s nothing wrong with these competitive high school sports, the lack of other opportunity is a problem, and programs like CYC are not considered an adequate replacement.

A good substitute would be an Intramural athletic program. Setting up a group of friendly, student-run teams, almost like a school club, would take pressure off newcomers and those who feel they can’t succeed at the highly competitive level.

An easy opportunity to play sports for fun like they did through grade school and middle school would excite students. Imagine this…

You’ve just started kindergarten. You’re playing YMCA soccer in the fall, CYC basketball in the winter, little league baseball or softball in the spring. You get to have fun and meet new friends and swing a bat for the first time, or run the wrong way with the ball, only to realize it after you’ve finished celebrating that you scored for the other team. You don’t care though, because you scored anyway, for the first time.

That sort of carefree happiness can be experienced by playing with your friends in an organized league for fun. Why should that have to stop at high school? It shouldn’t be too late by any means.

Sophomore Jacob Schmitt played basketball and soccer for years growing up, then played C-Team soccer his freshman year. Rather than try out for the freshman basketball team last year, he opted for a less competitive option, setting up and player-coaching a CYC basketball team with his friends.

“I prefer these non-competitive sports because in my opinion, a lot of the fun is taken out of the sport once it turns more competitive and more intense,” said Schmitt. “Once you realize that you’re only playing for the fun of it and not just only ‘for the win,’ then you really get to cherish every second.”-

Schmitt’s team finished just 3-7, but he did cherish every second, so much that he can easily recall their highlight moments (though few, he said) of the season.

“My intramural basketball team wore the colors orange and black to represent where we were from,” said Schmitt. “In one of our overtime games (sophomore) Eric Schaefer hit a game tying three as time ran out, then (sophomore) Bailey Osburn ran the show in overtime, hitting at least four threes. We won the game by 10 points. It was a favorite sports memory in my life, and I’ll never forget it.”

Now Schmitt is planning a Vetta soccer team with his friends this fall, after not trying out for the high school team.

“It would be great for the high school to have an intramural sports system,” said Schmitt. “If you know or prefer something like the CYC sports leagues, then this would be great (for you). A big group would definitely come out for these intramural sports, and I’m sure Webster would benefit from it.”

Students certainly would benefit from a program like the one suggested by Schmitt. Besides the fun and lack of pressure, it would provide easy enjoyable activity in a society where child obesity is an issue. Perhaps part of the reason obesity is worsening is the lack of available athletic opportunities, or other chances to be physically active.


One thought on “Bennett from the Bleachers: WGHS should institute intramural sports program

  1. I think that is an excellent idea. There are plenty of kids that enjoy playing sports in a less competitive environment. Great article Bennett!

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