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Masters sports culture needs to change

Vincent Alban/TOWER

Vincent Alban/TOWER

Phil Minton, Op-Ed Editor

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Over the past couple of years Masters has increased their efforts to strengthen the athletic programs on campus. The school has built a brand new athletic facility which created two new sports teams and the athletic department has brought in accomplished and competitive coaches. Despite all of this certain Masters sports teams continue to struggle. The girls varsity lacrosse team recently had to cancel their season due to lack of players. In addition to this, most spring sports have one team at the varsity level, whereas other seasons have up to three teams of different levels.

Since the fall of 2013 Athletic Credit Requirement (ACR) has required students to join sports teams for at least three seasons by the end of their sophomore year, students have joined teams they might not normally would have joined. However, now almost six years after the ACR affected the first freshman class, some sports teams seem to be struggling and lacking numbers. As the year comes to a close, students, specifically seniors, don’t want to be involved with a losing team on top of other work. This fault, however, doesn’t lie within the athletic department, but lies within the student body.

The girls varsity lacrosse team is an example of one team on campus where there just aren’t enough players to play games. Senior and girls lacrosse team member Mikayla Zion said not having a team her senior year really stinks. “We used to bond and be a family, not just a team. However, now we just don’t have enough numbers to do that.” Zion said that the team had meetings before spring break where they were able to estimate the number of members to about 15-20 people. After break the team went down to around 14 and was at 11 before the season was canceled.

Many students at Masters consider the sports teams not good enough and in turn don’t want to go to the games. In recent years, however, new programs or clubs such as ‘Pack the Den’ and ‘Grub Club’ have attempted to bring out more of the student body at home games. Still the school spirit of the Master’s Community is essentially non-existent.

Masters alum and former lacrosse player Sophie Lieber now goes to the University of Southern California (USC) where she says everyone looks up to the athletes. “I definitely believe it has contributed to our sports teams success because each athlete knows that they have many fans cheering them on in the stands and the sport is not only something that they take seriously, but that the entire school and alumnae network does as well. That specific aspect is what I believe the girls lacrosse team [at Masters] lacked,” Lieber said. She went on to talk about school spirit as a whole. “You walk around campus and every single person has some sort of USC apparel on, game days feel like Christmas every weekend in the fall, and just belonging to the Trojan family is one of the best feelings in the world.”

While it is possible that if Masters increased their larger sports events and implemented a Homecoming weekend sometime in the fall that the school spirit would change, it still is in the hands of the student body.

Students must take ownership that their attitude towards sports at Masters is what will drive the change of our athletic culture. There is no way our sports teams will improve when students quit when they have to work hard, quit when they don’t win and quit when their friends quit too. Granted, some had to quit due to medical reasons. People want to have fun and need to realize that in order to achieve this goal and win, they must work hard. In order for this mentality to change students need to put in work and be aware that until we actually dedicate time to practice, we won’t win. Masters students pride themselves on their commitment to various aspects of the school yet when it comes to sports, students do not do it with thy might.

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The student-run news site of The Masters School
Masters sports culture needs to change