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The Backup Plan: why do Barnstable athletes participate in some sports?

Shannon MacDonald, Staff Writer

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For every season there seems to be a fallback sport – and I happen participate in one of them. The pressure to do sports makes some students participate in athletics that they don’t actually enjoy, but since they know they won’t get cut, they do they do them anyway. For fall it is cross country; winter and spring is track. No one is cut initially in these sports and there is rarely a cut throughout the season. They are safe. Of course there are those athletes who take their fallback sports very seriously – but for some, they are simply just a fallback.

The fallback sports are a way to do a sport but not necessarily have to try when participating. In the fall, I don’t wake up excited for practice (actually far from), but still do cross country. Not that I don’t try to beat my time every meet, but it’s not my life goal to do well in cross country.

Many of us who participate in the fallback sports use them as a way to socialize with friends.

But, there are other reasons that students stick with fallback sports: to stay in shape, to make new friends, or so they can show colleges that they did something for their school other than academics.

Of course, they could also participate in the sport if they actually enjoy the sport. The non-fallback sports are a different story: football and field hockey in the fall; swimming, hockey, wrestling for winter; and lacrosse, softball, tennis, and baseball in the spring, are taken seriously by those who play them, and those who have  intense Stable pride.

The sheer number of students who participate sports in Barnstable is at least a third of our school. With this number, can we expect that all of these students really love all of the sports that they play? The drive to participate differs. Regardless, why we participate, being a part of a team is promising, with dress up days, and the multitude of home and away games the teams become close-knit and you make friends throughout the season – so the appeal of being on a team is pretty obvious.

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Barnstable High School's Award-Winning Student News Site
The Backup Plan: why do Barnstable athletes participate in some sports?