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The Current

Bruin sports deserve equal recognition

Sophomore Jace Rath on the Varsity Basketball team waits for a free throw. Photo by Kalei Owen

Here at Bear River, just about everyone can say that they’ve been in the stands, cheering for our football team, or maybe they can say that they’ve sat in the bleachers, supporting our basketball teams. However, who can say that they’ve been to a cross country race or a soccer game?

Why is football and basketball our school’s main focus, when we have dozens of other sports that are just as important? Unfair representation of Bruin teams is a huge problem that has plagued our school for years. It has grown increasingly worse to the point that players on teams other than those two feel unrecognized and unimportant.

Freshman Ryan Cleere, who currently represents Bear River on the boys JV soccer team, explained how he sees this issue, and the ways it affects him.

“I think people definitely pay the most attention to football, it’s the most popular sport,” explained Cleere. “We do have a pretty strong support when we go to games … like in Foothills the other day. It was an hour drive, and we still had a pretty good turnout of people there that showed up to watch, [but] I think soccer could use some more recognition, because people look past it a lot. People are more focused on football, so we get looked over.”

He’s right, football gets the most attention, while all the other sports tend to get overlooked.

Fellow freshman Grace Ballou, who played volleyball on the girls freshman team, agreed with Cleere about the amount of support other sports get compared to football, as well as how this problem appears to her.

“I definitely think football gets the most recognition over all of the sports, but it’s not like people don’t support volleyball … but, I think the varsity teams are the most recognized,” Ballou said. “As for the other sports, varsity is always more recognized than the others. It kind of makes you feel good when a lot of people show up to your games, and if you see a lot of people showing up to the one sport that’s not yours, it can kind of make you feel bad.”

She continued by suggesting ways to improve the amount of people who show up to games that aren’t just football and basketball.

“Maybe do posters, and put them on the bulletin [board] or something like that, that shows that there’s a big [upcoming] game,” concluded Ballou.

Junior Grace Billingsley, Track, Cross Country, and Varsity Basketball player, talked about why she believes that this topic is important.

It definitely matters to have sports represented equally at Bear River,” said Billingsley. “It might not matter to staff, but the athletes put a lot of hard work and time into their sports, and they take pride in their achievements. It’s a little discouraging when an athlete works hard to be successful, but isn’t recognized, especially when they see other sports represented so heavily. Also, a lot of students don’t know about certain sports, so representing them equally helps to get the word out and encourages people to try new sports. I think that golf, swim, and wrestling deserve more recognition as well, because they are sports that require a lot of skill and hard work. I think Leadership could hold rallies for more sports other than football and basketball, and they could make posters to show support, or announce sports events on the loudspeaker.”

Junior and Varsity Football player, Jeremy Rodrigues, expressed his acknowledgement of this issue from his point of view.

In some cases, the main sports in this school, in my opinion, [are] football and basketball,” Rodrigues said. “I think all the sports should get equal amounts of recognition.”

Fellow Junior Grace McDaniel, who plays JV Basketball as well as running Track and Cross Country, felt as though the cause of the issue lies with the students, not the the teachers.

“I do notice that other sports seem to get more attention than the running sports, but basketball seems to have a lot of recognition from students,” said McDaniel. “I think that the teachers at this school are interested in the less-known sports as well as the ones more popular to students. In my less popular sports, I do feel like teachers give us more attention than students do.”

She continued on to share why she thinks this problem takes place, and added on a possible solution.

“It would be less problematic to go watch a basketball game than sit outside in the freezing cold to watch other sports like soccer and cross country,” McDaniel explained. “One thing that could help other sports get attention is to be sure to advertise every sport with posters and in email reminders, not just football and basketball.”

Football coach and Athletic Director Scott Savoie shared his input on which team he thinks gets the least amount of recognition.

Of all BR sports, our golf teams never get to play at Bear River,” explained Coach Savoie.  “This makes it tough to go watch them. However, they are very well recognized here at Bear River. I feel that all teams should be recognized and supported. I would love to see more spectators at all [of] Bear River’s sporting events! All Bear River sports teams deserve recognition, and I think our school supports them all.”

He finished by pointing out that this problem exists in more schools than just ours, and there’s no easy way to increase the amount of people who come to Bruin games.

If ‘equal representation’ refers to how many people are in the stands, I would say no,” concluded Coach Savoie. “I don’t see that as anyone’s fault, and it is the same at all high schools. Nobody can force students, staff, or adults to attend games.”

While Coach Savoie is right about this issue being bigger than just our school, it doesn’t mean that we can’t start working on equally supporting all of our teams, and recognizing all of the hard work that they put into their performances.

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Bruin sports deserve equal recognition