Atheltes question club status, vie to be official

By Katie Clem, Production Editor

For three hours a week, junior crew member Michelle Dan takes a 45-minute bus ride to the Anacostia River. Crew is a competitive and physically demanding sport that Dan dedicates much of her time to, yet it is not considered an athletic team in Montgomery County.

According to Principal Joan Benz, it is the Board of Education’s (BOE) decision, not the school’s, to approve or reject a club team’s proposal to become a team.

“Anytime a club team wants to become an athletic team, a proposal must be sent to and approved by the school board,” Benz said.

The Board takes into account numerous factors, such as risk since the school is liable before it accepts the proposal.

According to athletic director Scott Rivinus, the BOE will not approve the proposal unless most of the schools in the state have access to participatie in the sport.

According to Benz, some sports are more expensive than others, so the BOE has to look at whether all schools can afford to buy equipment.

“First year rowers pay an average of $900 twice a year and varsity has to pay $1,000 twice a year,” junior rower Tiffany Russo said. “Then you have to buy separate uniforms and other things like that.”

However, if the proposal is approved, the club teams would have to go through many changes.

“You gain and lose something with everything,” Benz said. “If club teams want to become an athletic team, they must endure stricter regulation.”

While the team’s gains would include participation in the pep rally and school funding, they may also have to say goodbye to their old coaches.

“The coach position would first be open to a teacher, then if no one steps forward, an outside coach,” Benz said. “The approved coach would then have to go through a training program.”

Some club team athletes like junior crew member Abby Means are reluctant to send in a proposal if it means saying goodbye to their coach.

However other students who participate in ice hockey feel that, despite all of the obstacles, they should be listed as an athletic team.

“Hockey is actually a sport that gets great attendance at all its games,” junior and JV hockey player Zach Silver said. “The Capitals have even come and covered the varsity games. If we have gotten the attention of a professional sports team like that, I think we deserve more recognition.”