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The Reasoning Behind Cut Sports

Lia D., Staff Writer

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The middle school offers many sports during all three seasons, from equestrian to baseball to squash. The majority of these sports have limited spots for athletes, leaving only cross country, swimming, and track and field open to everyone.

With so many seventh and eighth graders wanting to compete, green and white teams have been created for sports such as girls basketball, volleyball, and boys and girls soccer.

Kara S., an eighth grade soccer player, said, “I feel like especially in cut sports eighth graders should have priority in the green and white, and if it’s mixed, eighth graders should get more playing time.”

Some sports have many players try out, so major cuts happen.

“On average, between 14 to 16 girls make the team every year on both teams. For middle school, we typically have around sometimes as many as 60 girls try out, so that’s about half on average that get cut,” said Rachel Coleman, an assistant volleyball coach.

Even though sometimes cuts are made, this can still leave too many people on a team.

Brooks B., a seventh grade baseball player, plays on a team with 21 athletes and thinks there should be around only 15.

Many students want the opportunity to play certain sports but don’t always get the chance. Coaches are forced to make tough decisions as to whom they choose for their team. When tryouts are underway, coaches look for certain factors that set athletes apart from others.

“We always look for athleticism, we look for coachability, we look for their base level skill set and sometimes you might have a really high love of the sport or really want to play, but your skills don’t quite align as well as some others,” said Katie Argall, the head varsity girls basketball coach.

Coaches aren’t necessarily just looking for the best of the best. They want players who will be able to learn the game and improve the team.

“We look for opportunities to build a player. If we see someone that’s never picked up a volleyball, but they have really strong athletic ability and trying really hard, we would take them over a person who maybe has a little more experience but they have a really bad attitude,” said Ms. Coleman.

Many players have a problem with too many students being on a team. It can cause less playing time for every player since coaches want everyone to play.

Elizabeth L., an eighth grader who plays lacrosse, said, “I think last year it was appropriate because there were barely any people trying out and a lot of the people that made it were really good and had a lot of potential. A consequence of not cutting is players getting very limited playing time in a game and throughout the season.”

Large teams can affect the season and impact how much work players are able to get in.

“There’s a lot of people trying out so you can’t get everybody since then you’d get really big teams and that just does not work,” said seventh grader Emma B.

Student-athletes have their own opinion as to whether sports should be cut or not, but generally, they run across the same lines.

Even the sixth graders, who have another year before they’re able to compete, had thoughts about cut sports.

When asked about whether students should get cut at the middle school level, Julian W., a sixth grader, said yes and no.

“Yes, because you can get too many people and if there are too many then you won’t get to play and if you did it’d only be for like two minutes,” he said.

Julian wants to play soccer next year and has already started anticipating the results that could come with too many players on a team.

“But I say no because if someone wants to do a sport that badly and they took the time to go and try out I think they should be able to play,” said Julian.

Fellow sixth grader Hayden G. agreed with Julian, saying sports should be cut, but there should be enough openings so people with no experience can still be involved.

On the other hand, sports are still competitive and important in middle school, and some students want a team with developed players who know the game.

“Their ability matters when it comes to sports because if they’re just there because coaches didn’t want to cut anybody and make them not feel bad, then it’s kind of annoying,” said eighth grade baseball player Zach H.

Middle school is the time to try new things and possibly fall in love with a new sport.

Ms. Coleman coached volleyball at her old school, and there were four volleyball teams, all of which were non-cut, so anyone could play. This was welcoming for players brought by their friends to try out, as they could potentially find a sport they were passionate about and continue through high school or college.

Because there was no cut, people were more open to try out and potentially find a sport they were passionate about.

Though not cutting players could be ideal for everyone, it would require more space to practice, coaching staff, and time.

“Some sports should be cut because you just don’t have the time to develop individual players as much as they could be since you’d have to spread yourself so thin,” said Ms. Coleman.

When looking towards the future, high school sports can be more competitive and help get into college.

“It is a serious consideration for us every year because we want as many girls to be able to play in middle school as possible, but we also know that after you’ve invested a couple years you’ve either gotten better or it becomes harder to cut you because you’re part of the program and we like having you around,” said Mrs. Argall.

Sports are a great way to get exercise and build a bond with others. If a student gets cut from a sport, the school provides extra options so athletes can still play with their friends.

Photo by Lia D.

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1 Comment

One Response to “The Reasoning Behind Cut Sports”

  1. Rachel Coleman on February 28th, 2019 9:41 pm

    I love the balance of opinions from students in the middle school. Well Done!

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The Reasoning Behind Cut Sports