McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Opinion | Sports inequity is deeper than a state sendoff

MCHS has had an issue with sports inequality for years, making it harder for them to gain awareness throughout the school
Rose Wenckebach
The 2022 varsity boys baseball team earned a police escort through town and a special celebration after playing in the championship game, but not all winning teams at MCHS have been celebrated the same way.

Many students at MCHS can agree about specific sport biases that have been a common theme for years. Whether it is Tennis, Volleyball, or Bowling, oftentimes certain MCHS sports are underappreciated and undervalued.

Last year Varsity Wrestler and State Champion Chris Moore got a police escort and a parade for his efforts at IHSA state. While it was well deserved, other sports have not gotten the same treatment in the past. Recently the MCHS Varsity boys bowling team went to state, and did not receive a parade, but merely had an announcement on the PA speakers during AIM. Though they declined the parade, MCHS often appears like it is appreciating certain sports more than others.

Throughout the years MCHS sports have gotten differing values of appreciation. Whether it is a fundraiser or just overall coverage of a sport, not all programs are treated the same. Some sports have a healthy pool to select from, while others are fighting to simply fill a roster. “I think it’s just a lack of awareness for the sport,” said Varsity Lacrosse player Eli Guardyak. The lack of advertisement leads to a lack of funding for the sports program.

The smaller the roster means the smaller number of people working on sports fundraisers to make money. Simply put, the less people equals a lesser amount of money. With the new issue of a lack of funding, these programs can not afford the proper equipment to help them compete at a higher level. This can lead to further issues within the program, leading to past players not wanting to join the team again.

“They all [Teams that make it to state] have the option [to have a parade],” Chris Madson Athletic Director of MCHS said. “I would say 99% of teams do so and enjoy to.” Even though sports have the same opportunity for parades, there are still many inequalities between the programs. Football and Basketball are some of the most populated sporting events. Meanwhile, sports like golf, bowling, and lacrosse have very few spectators outside of direct relationships. This is due to the lack of awareness of smaller, more niche sports not getting attention. As oftentimes the time and dates of meets are not mentioned outside of a PA announcement the day of.

Madson and Mitch Stengel, Activities Director, have both been thrown into their first year of directing. With these new responsibilities it is understandable that they are trying their best and have not been able to do everything in order to make all MCHS sports equal. However, there are still things that can be quickly changed, in order to make all sporting programs feel more included at MCHS.

Overall, MCHS sports have been treated unfairly for years. Even though this has been an ongoing trend for a long time, Stengel and Madson are both hoping to eventually spread awareness and in turn create a better feeling of equality throughout all MCHS sports and clubs.

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