Beyond the Buzzer

Winter sports should continue even without fans in attendance


In the first issue of The Journal this school year, I wrote a column titled “All or Nothing.” While I was writing that article, it was my belief that we should only play high school sports if fans other than parents were allowed in the stands. 

Since then, my viewpoint has shifted, and I thoroughly believe that the IHSAA needs to do whatever they can to let the athletes play this winter despite the lack of fans attending sporting events.

If the IHSAA maintains gameplay this winter, the chances of athletes at SHS of continuing their athletic careers skyrockets, leading to an even more increased chance of them receiving a college degree. 

Here at SHS, the winter sports teams have a lot of fantastic talent. The deeper someone dive into the winter sports rosters, the better athletes they can find. 

The boys basketball team is coming back with a core group of sophomores ready to come out hot after a strong freshman season. The girls basketball team has seniors stepping up midway through the year, trying to turn their last season around. 

The girls swim team started their year off with a record-breaking meet and the wrestling team has potential for a state championship from multiple wrestlers on the roster this season. 

When people look through the vast amount of talent at SHS, I believe they don’t have to look very far to find a wide variety of athletes that can see themselves continuing their athletic career after high school. By taking this season away from them, their chances of being a collegiate athlete plummet. 

It does not become impossible, but it becomes much more difficult. Colleges look for as much gameplay film they can find when looking for recruits. The argument can be made that some athletes may have a chance to be watched outside of high school, but any avid sports watcher knows high school athletics are very different from travel sports.

For many athletes across the nation, they use sports as an opportunity to get themselves into college and leave with a degree. 

According to ESPN, of the Division I athletes that enrolled in 2013, 90% of them earned a college degree after six years, showing that going to college for sports is used for more than just the chance to play in professional leagues. 

Despite the risks of COVID-19, allowing athletes to continue their season this year will give them a better chance to go to college. In turn, the higher chance of them going to college also increases their chances of receiving a college degree. 

I have been told by many of my high school teachers that their goal is to prepare me and my classmates for college. If athletic seasons are not taken away from high school students, the chances of them passing classes and getting homework done greatly increases, as many student athletes want a chance to play the game they love when given the opportunity.

The IHSAA needs to do whatever it takes to keep winter sports going, and SHS is a prime example of the reason why. Athletes here have great chances of playing college sports, and if they get this opportunity, it will only help their chances of getting a college degree.