Most team sports here at west such as basketball or football tend to perform less successfully than more individualized teams like wrestling or swimming, coaches think this may be due to a variety of issues within the teams.
Many team sports at West, with the notable exception of baseball, have been among the lowest-performing teams within the district over the past several years. This year, the girl’s volleyball team lost every game, girl’s basketball had a record of 0-15, boys basketball had a record of 2-14, the football team had a record of 2-5, and the boy’s soccer team had a record of 4-9-1. However, students participating in individual sports have had some notable success. Seven wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, swimmer Pierson Blick broke a school record and Pedro Trevizo-Venzor qualified for state in boys tennis last May.
Low enrollment in sports and activities and difficulty retaining student-athletes are two of many possible reasons why West struggles at team sports. Head wrestling coach Jason Brown says that the difference between team and individual sports at West is student culture.
“Our school, as a community, is too individualistic. And that’s why we struggle in team sports,” Brown said.
Basketball Coach Marcus Carter adds, that more team sports are starting to have better progress and more success.
“I would say in the past, we’ve had a lot more success with individual sports.” Carter said, “But there are a couple team sports that have kind of turned the corner as far as baseball, they’ve been doing really well…But historically in the past , more individuals have done better here at West.”
Track Coach Emily Maier thinks that the reason for the lack of success is the constant transition of new players and veterans.
“It’s not necessarily that they don’t know how to work together it’s that they don’t stay with the team long enough to get better as a team” Maier said, “So for example, you have a particular team sport and they play for one year, and in the next year, you only have two or three that return in that team sport and the rest are all new. And that continues over and over. How do you build a team if you don’t have the same players year to year.”
According to Athletic Director David Clark, lack of cohesion is a factor of why teams aren’t as successful as they could.
“I think a lot of our athletes lack individual determination…it’s just disappointing to me to see athletes screwing around in the hallways because that’s why they’re not successful in the classroom and on the field,” Clark said. “The ‘BS’ in life is more important to them, looking cool is more important than studying than getting better on the field.”
In order for the athletes to perform better, Clark thinks they’re going to have to commit to wanting to succeed in school.
“They have to just take it more serious(ly),” Clark said, “Maybe they go into study hall, instead of arriving late to school, arrive early…A lot of kids come in their freshman year and fail a lot of subjects their freshman year, and they’re way behind. Then they don’t want to work hard to catch up because they feel like it’s not going to help, it’s that kind of mentality that will keep themselves down.”