The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School

The CS Press

Bottom of the food chain, top of the podium

Faith Hasher, Staff Writer

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Athletes every year qualify to go to State, but everyone automatically assumes it is about upperclassmen when, in reality, there are many underclassmen who go to State as well. These underclassmen do not get the recognition they deserve. Although it is rare for underclassmen to go to state, they should still be recognized.

Obviously, at the beginning of the season, the veterans are put into play at first, because they have the most experience and an established record. Usually, underclassmen are put into play when they start doing better in practice or  have a chance to prove themselves.

It is important to realize that the upperclassman who are getting scholarships for their sport as seniors most likely have been thriving in their sports for the previous three years. For example, Kaley Dodd, a junior, has gone to State for the past three years in track and field. As a freshman she got second in high jump.

Another examples is Katie Deininger, a junior, who got second in State her freshman year, first her sophomore year, and second again as a junior for dive.

Underclassmen are also looked at by colleges. Even though colleges tend to look at juniors and seniors more, they still look for the few exceptional underclassman.

Upperclassmen are usually talked about during announcements as well as shown in magazines such as the Local Sports Beat, but there is no recognition for the freshmen or sophomores.

The cheerleaders have won 10 state championships over the past 12 years and the team is almost always composed of girls from every grade, definitely a freshman or sophomore on the team when they have won all those titles.

This past year, Delaney Dopp and Riley Lerew are just two the freshman who were on the team that helped them win state.

For the past three years the track and field board has not been updated. Multiple athletes have broken records over the years and no one knows about their potential.

Some coaches, no matter what, put in the upperclassmen instead of underclassmen, even if the younger one is better. They may put them in because they have more experience, they have been there longer or they may have better leadership skills.

Others may believe that it is a right of passage to upperclassmen and everyone has to wait their own turn. In reality, they worked just as hard to excel at a state level as juniors or seniors.

So, the next time an underclassmen is heading to state, the school should show some recognition because it is very difficult for these athletes to compete against the more experienced upperclassmen.

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The Voice of Cactus Shadows High School
Bottom of the food chain, top of the podium