Football rules the mind of the school
When asked in what ways Darby High School promotes school events students responded with the following: tailgates, themed student sections, end of the day loudspeaker announcements, away game busses, teacher recognition nights, pep rallies, administrative attendance, marching the halls etc. It doesn’t take long to spot the pattern here: football.
Although Football Friday Nights are a staple in American High Schools, the emphasis on the importance of football has, in turn, caused most other activities at schools to be overlooked. The bias is blatant: from the lack of attention for the competition cheer team winning back to back OCC Championships and Darby hosting the Thespian Area Conference last year, unless you are wearing a helmet and pads every Friday night on the new turf, your hard work will not be equally recognized.
Football is the only sporting event on Friday nights for the school, so advertising other events would not take money away from the football program. Throughout the week, especially on weeks of home games, there is always a lot of hype and anticipation for the game. We normally end our Fridays with an announcement encouraging student and teacher attendance at the football game, with a rushed, generalized “good luck” to all other competitors at the end. However, Monday through Thursday, when other activities have their events, such as concerts, games, and competitions, there is little to no mention of it from the administration.
Sophomore Tennis player, Nidhi Patel has noticed the lack of attention towards the tennis team.
“Knowing the administration can try to help us out but haven’t tried their best affects the tennis team because it makes us feel as if our sport isn’t good enough,” Patel explained.
This past summer Darby High School installed turf in place of the original grass field. This was a wise investment that benefits the football team, soccer, marching band, and lacrosse team.
However, Sophomore boys tennis player Ayo Obisesan pointed out that the other teams feel neglected when it comes to upgrades.
“[The new turf] fails to meet the needs of the ‘little teams’ like golf and tennis,” Obisesan shared.
The last investment the athletic department has put towards the tennis program was the addition of a backboard to the tennis courts, several years ago.
Of course it is important to support the school’s football team. The athletes work hard and deserve support from the administration and students. However, so do the rest of the athletes, musicians, and thespians, who also put many hours a day into something they are passionate about, and they deserve equal respect, recognition, and appreciation of the students, staff, and administration.