High school students have participated in a group chat surrounding sports. The chat is completely independent from the high school and is run and monitored by students entirely themselves.
This year the men’s soccer team won State and gained a lot of support from the school and town. A lot of the communication over sports is done in the non-school-affiliated group chat on the platform “GroupMe,” which all sports teams at the school can use to communicate.
The chat is called “WGHS Sports” but is known as “The Sports Group chat” and is made up of almost 600 students, across all grades.
Teams use the chat to communicate when they will play, who they will play, and if there’s a theme for the game.
The chat is also used to let people know the final scores of the games and in cases where it applies– who scored.
In other cases, the chat has been used to send out surveys for school projects, let people know about club events and share information about snow days.
There are, however, instances where the group chat has had controversies. Senior Holly Travers, who was added to the sports group chat at the very beginning of her freshman year because she played on the volleyball team, shared her thoughts on the group chat.
“I think it’s nice for spreading the word about sporting events, and I think it can be funny on occasion when it’s like people are joking around, but I do think sometimes people in the sports group chat go a little too far,” Travers said.
Travers contributes to the chat on a fairly regular basis due to participating in three varsity sports: women’s swim and dive, women’s volleyball and women’s lacrosse.
“Each one [sport] always has something going on whether it’s like a game, some rivalry or some sort of that, so I’m always putting my input in there,” Travers discussed the context of how she participated in the chat.
One recurring issue in the chat is sexism. This mainly consists of people doubting female athletics.
“I think for the most part the main culprits are joking when they say that, so it doesn’t really affect me that bad. However, as a female athlete, it does kind of annoy me when they doubt a women’s sport or something because it does suck to hear people say you’re terrible or yadiyadiyada, but I don’t really care that much,” Travers said about sexism in the chat.
Senior Sebastian Macaire was added to the group chat when he was a sophomore because he played on both the soccer team and tennis team. He doesn’t contribute to the chat as much but has said one or two things if soccer or tennis had a victory.
About if the chat is constructive or deconstructive to the school environment, Macaire said, “There can be some constructive times, but there are a lot of destructive times where it just seems like different teams, it’s not like friendly banter, but they’re just kind of fighting with each other for no reason.”
“Having such a big chat that everyone can see in, you really need to think about what you’re sending in it,” Macaire said.
“Some things are deconstructive, and people don’t know the responsibility of their own words, but I feel like it’s constructive to lift other people up by their wins,” Junior Rebekah Rhyne said about the group chat.
A recent controversy that’s taken place in the chat involved the women’s lacrosse team and the baseball team. The baseball team decided it would challenge the lacrosse team to a lacrosse game. The lacrosse team agreed, as long as the baseball team promised to follow the rules of women’s lacrosse, not men’s.
“We decided that the baseball team, we’re a bunch of athletes, we think we could beat them in their own sport, so we decided to challenge them and they accepted,” junior Graham Stisser, a Varsity baseball player, said about the game between the two teams.
“Go girls lax, but I think it will all be proven when we beat the boys baseball team,” Rhine said.
“I think it makes school a little bit more fun. I mean, it gives people stuff to talk about in school. I know I’ve had a lot of people come up to me and ask me about the lacrosse game and stuff,” Stisser said about how the chat affects the school environment.