Why high school sports coming back is a good thing

Darian Daniels, Staff Writer

The wait is officially over:  Wakefield High School sports have returned. Students are now allowed to attend games in person to support their team in a controlled environment. Even with a capacity limit and social distancing still in effect, there is legitimate uneasiness with the return of sports fully making a return. Although that feeling is justified, here are reasons why high school sports coming back can be beneficial to the students and school.

  • Funding

In high school, sports bring in a large portion of total revenue. Primarily in football and basketball, our school draws waves of crowds from students and parents to support Wolverine athletes. The money gained is redistributed to help fund programs like prom and also give the players better gear and equipment. In Richard’s Times Business, it states that “One big football game can represent 10 percent of an athletic department’s annual budget.” This means that most high schools depend that money is brought in from sports in order to help support the school.

  • Teachers and students want to come back

In all of the interviews I have conducted, every coach and player has expressed the desire to play sports again for the school. Many have been playing since middle school, and the hiatus of being able to compete has been grueling. For many student-athletes, sports have become therapeutic as it is proven to reduce stress and to have physical benefits. Without the ability to compete, many athletes feel more stressed and purposeless throughout the year. Students would still be given the opportunity to participate online via zoom meetings or compete individually in their own space, but in person should be given to people who prefer it.

  • Seniors have the opportunity to participate during their last year

For seniors, their last year to compete in high school has been unpredictable. The idea of not being able to play in your final year is crushing. They miss out on senior nights, powder puffs, the interviews with recruiters plus more. Seniors are also expected to receive scholarships and offers from colleges. For people who didn’t plan for college before, there is uncertainty in their futures. Their experiences were swindled, but with the returning of sports this semester, there is hope that they don’t have to miss out. Seniors have dedicated most of their high school years practicing, working out, and competing for our school. They deserve their happy ending; the return of in-person sports can fulfill that.

  • Sports bring the school together

I remember the homecoming day of my junior year is filled with thrill and excitement. Students were packed in bleachers based on grade level, opposing the other side of the bleachers with another grade. The music blasted near the exit doors, while the dancers next to the bleachers prepared their routines. The football players were always riled up and feeding off of the energy that the students gave them. Days like that made me feel like I was a part of the school. It was exciting to be so invested in a team I didn’t personally play for. From homecoming games to swim meets, the years I’ve spent at Wakefield have been nothing short of memories well spent attending games. With the time ahead of us, this school should be able to congregate and support each other through cheers, screams, and laughs.

This year is the first year that Wakefield hasn’t had any sports, and it definitely is a change no one wants to get used to. Sports bring people together; winning for a team feels like a win for the entire school. The friendly rivals, excited crowds, and dedication to win are something that students, athletes, and coaches have all missed. These aspects of high school will never be taken for granted again. It is important to always be safe and to make sure to social distance and remain quarantined so these activities can carry on.