Imagine this: all of your friends are signing up for tryouts next week. You’re excited that a new season is on the horizon, and you can’t wait to show off in front of your friends. When you talk to your parents about trying out, they remind you that you already participate in another sport and that you can’t afford to pay the additional sport fee or for new equipment you’ll need. Disheartened, you know that hearing your friends talk about tryouts at lunch tomorrow will only be salt in the wound.
Currently, it costs $200 to play one sport and $150 for each additional sport. “It’s the third year with those prices,” Athletic Director Rob Heise said. “We had to increase them to offset the losses. More than half of the sports don’t bring in any revenue, which makes it hard to cover the costs of all the sports.” If more students attended McNicholas sporting events, the school would bring in more revenue and the sport participation fee would decrease making it easier for students to play.
According to Heise, the money athletes pay to play goes towards new uniforms and equipment, coaches’ salaries, officials’ fees, transportation, and rentals of facilities. Each referee is paid $42-90 per game. To rent a bus to transport a team to a game for one night, it can cost from $200-500, depending on the distance and time. New uniforms and equipment are distributed when needed. These costs need to be covered, and not enough people attend sporting events and pay for admission. This results in having to raise the price to play a sport to cover these costs.
Another benefit of attending the games is that the athletes will perform at the top of their game. “I played better when my friends went to my game,” softball player Gabrielle Latreille said. “I wanted to do better and impress them because they were there to see me play.”
The Launch Pad, or group of student fans at sporting events, is strong and present at football and basketball games, but its spirit is missing at other games. Each student should aim to attend at least one game of each sport during their four years at McNicholas. Not only will they be supporting their classmates, but they will be making irreplaceable memories in the process. Students should ask themselves, ‘When was the last time I did something for the first time?’ Some of the best memories are unexpected and come from new situations.
Latrielle recently attended a McNicholas baseball game for the first time with some friends. She had a blast and has fond memories from that game. Latrielle sees the importance in supporting other athletes, and knows the fun that comes along with that firsthand. “We’re all one school,” Latrielle said. “We should support each other.”
While it is true that it costs time and money to attend game, it is worth it. After all, do you really need to spend another night Facebook stalking someone or constantly updating your Twitter feed from the confines of your bedroom? Go out and make some high school memories while you still can. Not only will you be getting some fresh air, but you will be making it easier for future Rockets to participate in their favorite sports and make memories of their own.