Counterpoint: Should the intramural sports program at Schreiber grow?

Grace Fogarty, Emilia Charno, and David Han

Having more intramural or club sports at Schreiber as an option for people to fall back on if they do not make varsity would take away from the intensity and importance of our school’s varsity teams. Every one of the varsity teams at Schreiber was named a New York State Scholar-Athlete team this past year.  In addition, Schreiber has been named a School of Distinction by the NYS Public High School Athletic Association for the past five years.

If intramural or club teams, aside from the existing weight training, were introduced at Schreiber, it is probable that people would not try as hard to make the varsity teams.  The effort that it takes to be on varsity is what makes the teams great and brings pride to the school.  If students were less inclined to put in the effort, the quality of the varsity teams would undoubtedly suffer.

“Playing with so many talented and skilled players on the varsity team motivates me to play to the best of my ability.  During practice, we always push each other as hard as we can so everyone can improve as a player and as a teammate,” said junior Evan Steigman.

Students who play varsity sports are able to drastically improve their performance, as they are playing with skilled upperclassmen who have spent years playing their sport.  Intramural and club teams, on the other hand, would not be effective in facilitating play at a varsity level.

“Being on a varsity sport has tested me in so many ways.  If I didn’t have such a strict schedule for my practices, I would not have improved in my sport as much as I have.  Without this, I don’t see how players on intramural or club teams could improve,” said freshman Rebecca Charno.

Additionally, many high schools have JV programs which provide underclassmen the skills they need to play varsity later on in their high school careers. Like with varsity, players in JV sports compete with teams from other schools. These games count as wins and losses and can bring pride to a school as with varsity athletics.  Such a program provides a great outlet for students who desire to improve their skills in the sport of their choice as they practice and play in a similar setting as varsity players do.  However, students who participate in intramurals do not have the same opportunity and experience as JV players.  This is mainly because intramural programs do not provide a competitive atmosphere, as players do not play games against other schools.

Schreiber’s varsity teams are a source of pride for the school and the community.  The Pride in Port parade is centered around the varsity football game, exemplifying the importance of varsity teams in community pride.  Athletes on varsity level teams excel because they realize the importance of playing at this level.  However, intramural sports can get in the way of varsity team participants, as many players who have great skill might just opt out to take part in intramural programs, which is not as effective in improving one’s ability in the particular sport.

“Lots of kids may just want to play a sport and have fun. If you give students this option, through less strict club teams, it would undermine motivation to participate in varsity athletics,” said senior Andrew Falzone.

Teams at the varsity level are successful because the commitment that they require fosters close relationships among team members.  Having busy schedules filled with practices and games allows for a lot of time spent as a team, which enables bonds to form.  Teammates are also striving toward a common goal: the success of the team.

Closely-bonded teams play their best because they are able to communicate effectively.  Knowing your teammates well contributes to the team’s accomplishments.  When you know your teammates’ strengths and weaknesses from a large amount of time spent practicing together, you will be able to help them highlight their strengths during a game and work on their weaknesses during practice.

This also ties into knowing yourself and your own strengths and weaknesses.  A lot of practices means a lot of time to really become a better player and work on what you need to improve.  Intramural or club teams would entail loose commitment, and the same beneficial relationships between team members would not be formed.  As a result, these teams would not be as successful as the varsity teams.

Overall, intramural and club teams will undermine the significance of varsity teams, as it can turn away some students from participating in varsity sports.  With JV as an option for less skilled players, these less competitive programs are truly unnecessary.  While intramurals are created to give students who are not skilled enough to play varsity a chance to still play sports, the main point of having sports in schools is to play in a competitive atmosphere.  Having intramurals takes away this important aspect from sports.