The theme around McNicholas is that the sports teams cannot always compete with the bigger, Division I schools. That belief is completely false, and the attitude of the student body should be that McNicholas can compete and win against any school.
McNicholas has shown this fall that they can compete with the bigger schools in most sports. For example, the Men’s Soccer Team played Elder, a large Division I all-boys school. Despite their loss, the Rockets still showed that they have the capability to compete with schools like Elder. Another factor to the loss may have been that McNick was without their senior captain and defender, Trevor Hogue, due to injury.
“I think we can compete with anyone on any given day, no matter what division they are or how many students they have,” Hogue said. McNicholas did go on to defeat Turpin and Anderson to claim the King of the Hill title.
Another example of McNicholas competing with the bigger schools would be when Women’s soccer beat Saint Ursula in convincing fashion. The Varsity Football Team claimed wins over Turpin and Anderson, taking King of the Hill as well. Even though these examples are only from the fall sports, Athletic Director Rob Heise believes that the momentum set forth by the autumn teams could inspire players in upcoming seasons. “Take women’s track for example,” Heise said. “Some teams in Division II would be intimidated by our presence at a meet.” So while the fall teams are doing well this season, there is great potential for other sports in other seasons.
The school pride at McNicholas is acceptable, but there is always room for improvement. Students should try to attend as many games as possible during the sports season to better support their Rocket community.
“We expect to win games and go far in the post season. Now we just have to get the rest of the school behind us,” said Men’s Soccer Assistant Coach David Sandmann.
When everyone comes and the Launch Pad is booming with pride, not only is the team inspired, but it is also fun for the fans. The bigger schools like St. Xavier, who tend to have full capacity student sections, may outnumber members of the Launch Pad, but McNick students should show that they not only can beat them on the field, but they have the ability to show just as much school pride as their competitors.
Another reason why there is the perception that these bigger schools are better than McNick is because of the media. “I would attribute much of the perception to the media. The bigger schools in town tend to get most of the publicity,” Heise said. McNicholas should get the same amount of publicity, especially since they’re doing well. If they can compete with these big schools, they deserve attention too.
The bigger schools receive more attention than McNicholas even when McNicholas is doing better than they are in athletics. McNicholas is not a school driven by athletics. They also place a strong emphasis on areas such as academics, service, and community.
“When you look at some of the other schools that are getting attention, I think you will soon realize that athletics are very important to the school,” Head Football Coach Mike Orlando said. “Athletics drive their schools. They have accepted and embraced the fact that enrollment choice is athletically motivated from a big percentage of the families.”
McNicholas has the ability to challenge these big schools who focus mainly on athletics and who have massive student populations. They can beat these schools while still maintaining high academic standards, and that is what they intend to do.
Do you think that McNick can compete with the bigger division one schools? Comment below.