Under-the-radar sports desire more appreciation

High-performing sports teams lack recognition in the wake of football achievements


Sarah Rietz

GBHS athletes of under-the-radar sports feel unappreciated and wish for more publicity for their sports.

Sports such as football and basketball have always been an important part of the Granite Bay High School culture. Fond memories and life-changing experiences can occur at these such athletic events; however, there are several other successful sports teams and athletes that often receive less recognition in comparison to larger mainstream sports.

“There is (a) built-in interest level of particular sports in mainstream society that helps promote interest,” said Jeffrey Evans, the varsity football coach at GBHS. “Football and basketball tend to be popular sports in mainstream American society, (and) that interest helps drive interest in those programs at the high school level.”

Friday night football games are viewed as a social event for peers to hang out and truly live through the traditional high school experience under the stadium lights. 

While mainstream sports such as football and basketball are highly anticipated to have a large turnout due to the nature of the sport, many students believe that there are several successful “under-the-radar” sports that could be publicized more.

For example, the GBHS varsity girls’ golf team placed fourth in the State Championships, yet few are aware of this impressive victory.

“Our girls’ golf team is really strong compared to the other schools in the area, and we have made it to state for the past three years,” said junior Yewon Jang, a varsity golfer. “I think a little more recognition would be nice, but I recognize golf won’t get the same popularity level as (sports) like football and basketball.”

I think a little more recognition would be nice, but I recognize golf won’t get the same popularity level as (sports) like football and basketball.

— Yewon Jang

Junior Stephanie Bradley, a track and field athlete, agrees that smaller sports should be equally recognized for their accomplishments.

“In my first (track and field) meet as a freshman, I got second place for all of junior varsity discus, and all I got was a medal and my name put on a link on the school website that no one at the school has probably ever looked at,” Bradley said. “But, other sports like football get plenty of recognition for scoring things like one or two touchdowns.”

However, Evans does not feel that it is the administration’s job to promote specific specific sports or programs.

“Most of the promotion for the game in the announcements and social media is done by the coaches of that sport,” Evans said. “Any promotion in the mainstream media is based upon those media outlets.”

Evans also said the administration equally supports all sports programs regardless of how much revenue the sport produces for the school.

“I feel that sports are properly publicized based on the interest level of the population,” Evans said. “The administration is as supportive of all of the sports with how they can show their support financially and (with) resources to compete in the given sports.”

Although football and basketball will likely remain dominantly popular among the population, that doesn’t mean that smaller sports have to remain under appreciated.

“I think that football and basketball (games) are great ways for the community to get together and cheer on (their) local high school,” Bradley said. “But, I think it would be interesting if (more) people started going to baseball or soccer games (because) that could lead to more school spirit and community collaboration.”