by Alec Perez ‘14
For the past three years, Sherwood’s varsity girls’ volleyball team has won the Maryland 4A state championship. During that same period of time, the school’s varsity football team has failed to make it to the state finals. This past year, the football field was completely redone with high quality Bermuda grass and a paint job done by the former field painters for the Baltimore Ravens. And for the undefeated volleyball team, the same old raggedy gym and a couple of pats on the back.
Last year, Sherwood’s girls’ softball team won the state championship and boys’ baseball lost in the semis, and some girls feel as if the softball team is overlooked. “Even though our team won states last year, the baseball team still has nicer facilities than us,” said junior Addie Armbruster. “Their field is so close to the school, they have electricity which can be used to light the field and plug in pitching machines, their dugouts are nicer than ours and they have bigger stands. I’m not complaining, but it would be nice for the softball team to get some higher quality equipment.”
High school athletics are in an era in which female athletes are widely accepted as capable of playing sports at as high a level as male athletes. The commonly used phrase “you hit like a girl” does not apply to today’s sports, and female athletes at Sherwood defy the assumption that guys are naturally better than girls at sports. Usually, when sports teams excel against their competition, people begin to recognize their success; however, the female athletes think that their teams have not been getting the credit they deserve.
“As a member of the 2012 varsity girls’ soccer team, we made it to the state semis. It was such an honor to be a part of Sherwood’s great sports legacy. On the other hand, it’s unfortunate how it seems the boys get the benefit of the doubt no matter their success,” said senior Hope Gouterman.
The girls’ fall teams showed that they are a force to be reckoned with in Montgomery County. In the 2012 season volleyball won states, soccer made it to state semifinals and field hockey finished the regular season undefeated. Despite the teams doing so well, more students still go to boys’ games rather than girls’ games. Junior Emily Kenul plays varsity basketball and lacrosse. She feels that female athletes work just as hard as the guys, and that “it would be nice to get more recognition and if more people went to our games.” The female competitors believe that many people take their teams’ success for granted. The perception of a number of female athletes at Sherwood is that their accomplishments outweigh the amount of praise and recognition they receive.
Before 1972 and the passing of Title IX, which protects the right of equal opportunity in athletics in schools, female athletes in high school could not receive athletic scholarships to attend college and many girls did not participate in sports. Junior Rachael Harrison plays varsity softball and volleyball and says that female athletes still have to work harder than males athletes do to gain recognition. “I think it’s harder because guys have been playing sports competitively in high school a lot longer,” said Harrison.