A shadow looming over Eaton’s athletics

Earning respect for one another tightens the family bonds

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A shadow looming over Eaton’s athletics

Liliana Lara and Mikayla Schwartz

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There is a social inequality overshadowing Eaton High School athletics. Football and volleyball take the number one spot for the most attendance by students in the fall. Cross country, golf, and softball aren’t the most entertaining sports to watch, but the support by the school and community affects how the athletes feel: less important. The rally of students serves more than just the “student section.” As Peter Grossenbacher, a varsity golf player, (19), said “It’d be nice to get some home crowds.” Every athlete on the floor see that crowd and strive to be the best.  It shouldn’t be about winning or being the absolute best, but more about being there for all types of student-athletes. As football coach Zac Lemon, said, “It creates an environment that motivates and excites players. Just the noise in the background and the sound of a crowd is beneficial.”

These athletes know they won’t have a cheering crowd and if there’s anybody cheering it’s probably a crowd involving their families. Senior softball player Allie Hobbs (19) said, “It’s a little discouraging because we are a great team; however barely, anyone comes to watch.” Every athlete gives his or her own time to practice their sport. They repeatedly continue to strengthen their skills to prove themselves at the following game each week. A cross-country runner Jaden Stone (22), a freshman on the cross country team, said, “No one is there, so the race feels pointless… you only hear your team and your coach, so it’s like another day at practice…we work so hard to go unnoticed, yet we still have the name Eaton on our jerseys. We still represent.”

People don’t understand what goes on behind the scenes at a race or a game. Encouraged at his football games multiple times by cross country runners, Dakota Powell (20) supported his first cross country meet at Platte Valley saying, “It was a lot more fun than I thought. At first, I wasn’t sure how to watch this with the people going everywhere, but I found you can run around with them finding all the runners as they go by. I recommend going because we all need to support each other.”

The definition of respect in the dictionary is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” To have respect for someone a person must understand results or rather how they get their achievements. Each sport comes with its own bumps and bruises and people just think it’s a game or a race, but the preparation behind each line, dugout, or tee is an endless season of restless legs, bruised sides, and mental barriers.