A shift in sports culture

As high school students, we often choose the paths that seem the most promising. To many, academics is often the more reputable path compared to others.

Walnut High School is going through its own depression in its amount of players. Football is without a junior varsity team, junior varsity girls basketball only has nine players and the junior varsity girls soccer team is mostly comprised of freshmen.

Despite always being an academically-focused school, Walnut has seen a steady shift in recent years. Students are more focused on taking as many Advanced Placement classes as possible, joining dozens of clubs to earn a cabinet position or dedicating time to an arts program. The fact that our school is advancing in these areas is great, but it also negatively affects the sports program.

Many students do not see the personal benefit in joining and dedicating their time toward sports. When time comes for applying to colleges, grade point average and extracurriculars often have more weight than athletics. In a school concentrated on academics, sports and its many benefits become overshadowed.

Apart from building a better college application, joining a sport creates a better overall high school experience, as it provides an opportunity to create a close-knit bond with teammates.

“Not only do you get to learn how to time manage and self discipline, but you’re learning how to work with other people, create teamwork skills [and] communicate with other people,” certified athletic trainer Faith Villanueva said.

In addition to creating a second family, there are also numerous health benefits associated with playing sports. According to the Foundation for Global Sports Development, young adults involved in physical activity generally consume more fruits and vegetables and are less likely to be overweight.

Students need to recognize the advantages of playing sports. Even though joining a sport may seem like a waste of time and commitment, it creates a balanced lifestyle that benefits health in the long run.

By Tristan Gonzalez, Sports editor

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