Imagine you're a high school student athlete. You've dedicated yourself to a sport you love, putting in long hours training both in formal practices and on your own. Now imagine it's game day. You're pumped. You're ready. But because you're a girl, the stands – in stark contrast to boys' games – are pretty much empty. It happens each season to almost every girl's team, and it's time for a change.
The disparity in attendance at boys versus girls games is nothing new, which is why you'd think that after more than a decade covering high school sports, I'd get over it. Trust me. I've tried. But then I go to games like the one celebrating Monomoy's senior night for both teams, and the glaring differences in support for male versus female student athletes stokes the frustration once again.
To say that senior night didn't go well for the Monomoy girls team is an understatement on several levels, which is why I'm choosing to recognize them this week. My main reason for doing so is that I firmly believe that each team, regardless of gender, deserves a huge turnout. They deserve just as many fans at their games as the boys teams get, period.
I've heard some people say they don't bother with girls games because “they're boring.” No, they aren't. They're just different since different athletes bring different energy to games. Come to a game and you'll see how girls tear up the turf in field hockey, battle for the ball in basketball, or send a blistering serve past an opponent on the tennis court. They can play just as physically as the boys do, and with just as much passion, if not more, but unless you show up, you'll never know.
So this week, I'm aiming a spotlight on the Monomoy girls, who, like all other girls teams, deserve their chance to shine.