Footballed out


One could only dream of this kind of turnout for a robotics competition…

Vanessa Jones, Columnist

The Hazelwood Central football team is always relevant. Their wins or losses are always in conversation, and somehow, even after their season has ended, they are still the talk of the school.  In fact, the other day I overheard people talking about the near win against CBC…two years ago.

Our school has had a robotics team for almost a decade, and a marching band for just as long, yet they might as well be whispers in the night. As for Theatre, Winter Drumline, Swim, National Honor Society, and many other activities, they are known but not openly recognized and celebrated. This lack of appreciation leads to many students feeling unappreciated, unrepresented, and unimportant.

I recall this years girls’ swim senior meet which was hosted at home. I, along with many of my team members, sent out information on Snapchat and told everyone we knew to come out. The turnout was as to be expected; more crowded than usual, but nowhere close to filling up the stands. The crowd consisted mainly of friends and parents, a few teachers, and one principal. Now compare this audience to that at the Homecoming football game. Actually no, compare this crowd to any crowd that the varsity football team has had. Visualize much of Central’s student population walking around and talking, see numerous teachers and staff coming out to watch and support the game, and hear all six of this school’s principals cheering with joy and pride for their school. Now that is what I call school spirit-not five friends, three teachers, and a principal who probably stopped by only because he was late to a doctor appointment, his car was parked near the gym, and the pool just happened to be on the way.

Academic or recreational extracurricular activities are also thrown down the hole into which everything that is not a boys’ sport goes… and then locked, chained, and boarded up. This includes National Honor Society, Chess, Poetry Club, DECA, FCCLA, and so much more. These activities are so underrepresented that even I didn’t know what DECA and FCCLA did before the 11th of February. Educational clubs like these are highly underrated for the sole reason of under appreciation. At Hazelwood Central, having a 4.5 grade point average as a junior pales in comparison to being a varsity quarterback. Instead of them being equal, physical ability will always trump intellectual capability, and it doesn’t seem likely that this will change.

The school is not the only culprit responsible for undervaluing less popular activities, the district is also to blame. The favoritism is shown in where the district invests it money, or rather should I say, doesn’t, spend its money. For example, the Theatre program recently experienced a rip in one of their very heavy curtains that could result in an actor or actress, who will definitely not be acting, plastered on the floor. It has yet to be replaced, and while hope is still out there for members of Theatre, many believe it is never going to be replaced.

The reasoning behind the unequal attention between football and other activities is unknown to me and many others. No matter how hard the underdogs of Central fight their way to the top, they are constantly stepped over as if they are dog droppings on the sidewalk. Change will eventually rise when more students become aware of the crooked distribution of attention between football and the world. But as for now, the best we can do is raise attention to the issue and continue to show the importance of the extracurriculars that go unnoticed.