STUDENT VIEWPOINT: Softball for Sashabaw

By Riley Haener

In a recent interview, Amanda Scarborough, a sports announcer for ESPN, explained her experience as a young softball player, “While my coaches were impacting ME, I had the ability to make an impact on THEM even though I was much younger.”
What many people do not realize about softball is that not only does it impact the child’s life, but it also impacts the coach’s life.
Unfortunately, Sashabaw Middle School does not offer a softball team for middle school students. In order for SMS to have a softball team, the CCS Athletic Department should consider approving the request.
To start off, “For students of middle school age, some of the most teachable moments happen on a playing field.”
Sashabaw Middle School should fully utilize the resources that they have, such as the baseball fields behind the school, along with precious moments to teach students.
Moreover, making friends can be hard in middle school, especially if you are new to the district.
According to PBS Parents, “For many girls, middle school becomes a pressure cooker filled with power struggles, conflicting impulses, physical growth and strong emotions.”
This is just one example of how hard it can be for middle school students to make friends, particularly with all of the changes one may be going through. As an alternative to making friends on one’s own, girls can join a school sport. Making friends on the field leads to making friends off of the field, which can easily build relationships that last a lifetime.
Although the Athletic Department may argue that a middle school softball team would cost too much money, fortunately, if the CCS school board rules insufficient funds for a softball team, then a grant proposal could solve the problem.
According to the Clarkston Community Schools website, “All grant proposals must support at least one district goal or priority.”
A grant would be an excellent option. As it states, a softball team must support a district goal, and indeed it would. Specifically, goal three would be fulfilled, which makes sure that kids work collaboratively inside and outside of school.
Lastly, coaches of middle school softball teams have inspired players before, so maybe we can have even more inspiration at SMS than we already do!
When asked about coaching, Chris Astacio, a coach for the Bronx, New York Lady Tigers states, “and so instead of teaching softball I was teaching girls to respect each other, how to respect themselves, how to value themselves.”
This shows that having someone to guide you through school can be extremely helpful. A coach is someone who you can come to trust and rely on. Without this potential coach, students are missing out on a special bond with a trusted adult.
Understandably, Sashabaw Middle School will not add an entire sport if only one student wants it done. For the benefit of the female student body, I invite you to join me on my mission.
According to Kelley Holland of NBC news, “in families with incomes under $60,000, 19 percent said travel sports costs led their kids to participate less.”
Clearly, travel and city teams are becoming way too expensive for lower-income households. A school team might be the only time for students to experience their preferred sport. Softball is crucial to me and many other students at SMS.
Sashabaw Middle School seventh grade students in Allie Dennis’ English Language Arts class are writing proposals in the form of newspaper op-ed articles.

One Response to "STUDENT VIEWPOINT: Softball for Sashabaw"

  1. Mrs. A   June 22, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    I know of a few Middle Schools whose parents are able to fund team reasonably and as a student leader, Riley you should look into this. My daughter has a friend that lives in Springfield Twp, and attends Holly Middle School. Their middle school soccer team is 100% self supported and less expensive then even AYSO. They had a parent step up and volunteer to coach, they use the school owned fields for games and practices at no costs, away games transportation is self supported car pooling families who generally would attend the game anyways. The only expenses are for refs (in your case umpires) and uniforms. Where there is a will there is a way.

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