The Prowler

High School Athletic Divisions Are Unfair

Jacob Rudner, Sports Editor

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To the naked eye, high school sports are, for a lack of more descriptive words, good. They are a source of exercise, PE credits, and entertainment.  But if you dig a little deeper and peek under the surface, high school sports are flawed. This nation-wide sports system is a problem that needs to be solved.

For the average student athlete, there are no issues in the prep school athletic system. The issues do not exist because they do not need to worry because these students are there for what it’s worth. They attend their games, matches or meets and they go home. Their desires to compete do not go beyond the confines of their high school’s gym or field. This system has worked for years and needs not change.

The problems start for students hoping to compete in college. These students have trained in their sport for their entire lives. It is a craft, a skill and a passion. Students like these work day in and day out with a tunnel-visioned focus on one goal and one goal only: competing in college.

Students working to compete in college have dedicated themselves to their sports. These athletes must compete at the highest level every time they compete. This requires extra hours of practice and the utmost attention to detail on their craft.

They need to keep their grades up. A high school athlete looking to play a college sport is doomed should his or her grades slip. Poor grades are a poor reflection of character and a sign they cannot dedicate themselves to anything but sports.

Lastly, and most importantly, they need to get noticed. YouTube channels, sporting profiles, cold calling, and emailing are among the massive list of things an athlete has to do to get on a college’s radar.

The process of recognition is the one that remains high school sports’ biggest flaw. Speaking from experience as an athlete who competed in the lowest level of high school sports, garnering attention from the biggest universities is extremely difficult. Coaches will look straight past athletes who did not compete against elite competition even if they have the skills to be a positive addition to the collegiate team.

For this, high school sports are defective. The solution is simple: there should be no divisions in high school sports. 

Schools should compete with each other based on region. This would eliminate rankings and and hopefully the unbalanced recruiting process that currently stands.

Unfortunately, this solution cannot happen overnight. If schools were to be reorganized, division one schools would have a clear advantage over division four schools. This will have to be slowly fixed, a process that will take time and attention.

The negative connotation that a small high school carries as compared to a massive, and less successful school, is absurd. Athletes should be given equal opportunity to showcase themselves and should not have to worry about the school they choose to go to because of athletic division.

High school sports are a facade of greatness, but it is flawed and needs to be fixed now.

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High School Athletic Divisions Are Unfair