Nantucket High School offers a variety of sports to its students from the more traditional; sports like football, cheerleading and soccer, to new varsity team sports like cross-country, volleyball, and tennis. Considering all the sports community-wide, it is safe to assume that different sports achieve different goals at different times. An example of this would include Whalers Football, winning the Island Cup for the first time in fourteen years in 2016, compared to girls-volleyball making state tournament in only their second-year as a varsity sport last year. However, despite football’s record to the last decade or so regarding the Island Cup, the Whaler pride never stopped. With the school coming to watch and support the football team through bitter-cold games, supplied with coach buses during away games, numerous assembles and announcements towards their achievements, $300 letter-man jackets funded by the Booster Club, and more, they receive constant attention. But this concept doesn’t variate or spread through any of the other sports, besides softball. Softball also has vans to their away games, rather than tight school-buses, nice uniforms that are not from 2003, new painted lines every week, and more.
Peers of the community have always complained about the different treatment regarding the multiple sports teams, so it was only reasonable to interview a student of NHS to see if they see a different perspective: “I do agree with this statement, to an extent. I do understand where this statement would be coming from, however over the last few years there’s been an effort to even it out.” Herbie Glowacki stated.
It was easy to discern not many people would want to be interviewed, considering the level of controversy entailed, so the statement was looked at from a different perspective. Instead, one may ponder, “who’s to blame?” In reality, there is technically no one to blame, except ourselves. The students of Nantucket High School have a huge impact on why sports are treated the way they are. For instance, if more people came to field hockey games, the grass would be cut and lines would be painted more than once every three weeks, the goals wouldn’t have holes in them, and the headline in Veritas concerning field hockey record wouldn’t state, “Field Hockey Finishes Another Disappointing Season.” Boys Soccer received no praise when unfortunately losing in a penalty shootout in their South Sectional semi-final game in overtime, even though they went so far in the season. The varsity football team has received plenty of praise in their fair share of losses over the years. A soccer player, who asked to be unnamed, stated, “It’s hard not to see a difference between any other sport compared to football and softball. All the teams work so hard to be the best they can be, but in some ways unmentioned sports work harder to impress the community, which football and softball does rather easily.”
Another subtopic of what the students would like to see is a pep-rally for all seasons of sports, like the one already held for fall sport athletes during Homecoming weekend. This pep-rally is a gathering that fall athletes look forward to their entire high school career. It’s a moment to be congratulated on, for their hard-work throughout high school, surrounded by friends, family, and the community. Since there isn’t a senior recognition assembly for every sport season, this might cause athletes who play a sport out of the fall to feel unimportant, or unrecognized officially, compared to a fall athlete. On the other hand, James Taaffe, an athlete who plays a winter and spring sport, but not a fall one, stated, “I really just think being recognized like that doesn’t really matter all that much. What really does matter, being both an athlete and captain is that your team charisma is high and you are having fun with the sport you play.”
The senior recognition pep-rally concept has been explained. Athletic Director of Nantucket High School Mr. Maury states, “During each fall season the athletic department works together with the Booster Club to organize and host (1) a team dinner for all fall sport teams and (2) a recognition ceremony of all fall senior athletes and their parents as part of the Homecoming pep rally. The majority of our teams (fall, winter, and spring) will host a separate senior recognition at their final home game of the season. These individual team senior recognitions are typically organized and set-up by the head coaches of each sport with some funding provided by the Booster Club. These individual team senior recognitions are not run as a function of the athletic department.” Most of the concepts that were an issue, have been debunked. A reasoning as to why specific sports have always been the popular choice is because at one point, Football was all Nantucket had. The boys were born into football, dreamed about it, played it like a lifestyle, and were sent off to college. It became routine for the boys to play football and the girls to play softball.
It’s safe to assume that not everyone will be happy with the efforts put in by the Nantucket Booster Club, but the community can always still put in an effort for other sports teams outside of softball and football. The concept of rivalry between teams on this small island is interesting. There is always someone to blame. If statistics and records were put aside for all teams, there wouldn’t be as much pressure individually on the teams. Every athlete in the community should be overly-grateful for the great efforts put in by the Nantucket Booster Club, considering the small amount of money athletes pay to play a sport. Other high school students off-island pay as much as $300 to play a sport, not including the additional fees of equipment and gear for the specified sport. All in all, the Nantucket Booster Club does an immense amount of work to improve the Athletic Department, and the community has always been very grateful for it. However it’s hard not to see the differences. Some sports are clearly favored and it is up to the student body to eliminate this treatment between teams.
By Camie Strojny