Beyond the Buzzer

Switching things up


Last week, when returning home from Terre Haute North, the SHS football team arrived back at the school at midnight. Don’t forget, Terre Haute North is a conference opponent, almost 78 miles away from SHS.

From Sept. 19 until Sept. 26, both SHS and Perry Meridian boys soccer teams played two conference games. SHS faced off against Bloomington North and Bloomington South, whereas Perry Meridian went up against Martinsville and Greenwood Community.

All of these were away games, but student athletes at SHS face a much bigger problem when traveling to conference games: the long distance they must go.

The SHS boys soccer team traveled around 189 total miles the week of Sept. 19 in their two trips to Bloomington, Indiana. Perry Meridian was only on their team bus for about 57 miles while on their way to their two conference games this week.

These distances between the schools in Conference Indiana takes away from the high school experience with the lack of rivalries, which is why SHS needs to make the switch to the Mid-State Conference.

One of my favorite aspects of high school sports is the rivalries created between schools over the years. When schools go against each other year after year in every sport SHS has to offer, it creates an inexplicable tension between the fans.

For example, as students from both SHS and Perry Meridian walk into the Steak ‘n Shake off of U.S. Highway 31 after a game, one can understand the tension created in the restaurant. SHS knows their team brought home a win, and Perry Meridian left with a loss.

SHS students can only enjoy this experience with our main rival, Perry Meridian. If we were to switch conferences, this rivalry experience could extend to schools other than Perry Meridian.
Athletic Director Brian Murphy says having only six teams in Conference Indiana isn’t ideal, but they aren’t looking to leave.

“Our first priority is growing our conference rather than just trying to leave it,” Murphy said.

Although adding more teams to Conference Indiana could provide a solution to the rivalry issue, it still doesn’t change the fact that athletes may have to spend a week night traveling to Terre Haute.

As high school athletes, we are always preached to about being student athletes, where the student aspect comes first. Traveling to Bloomington twice a week essentially turns all players into athletic students, putting their sport before their academic success.

Some may argue that as athletes, we signed up to spend our lives practicing and struggling to balance every aspect of our lives, but I disagree.

Just because we signed up to participate in athletics does not mean we volunteered to spend two hours on a round trip to Bloomington in order to play a conference opponent.
Making the switch from Conference Indiana to the Mid-State Conference would greatly benefit the academic success of student athletes at SHS, as well as the high school experience as a student.