Five Seconds

May 22, 2008
By Elizabeth Porter, Lemont, IL

We all laughed as her scream split the air. We’d just flung our coach, fully clothed, straight into the pool. Letting lose our own cries of joy, we jumped in after her, splashing and making so much racket that the pool deck rang with our cheers. We’d won. We’d done it. Five years in existence, no practice pool of our own, and we’d won Conference – what a way to end my Senior season on the girl’s swim team! After all of our struggles to prove our worth to the school, we’d finally have a trophy to hold up and say, “Look! See? See what we’ve done? See what we’ve accomplished; see how hard we’ve worked!” So we went home, certain we’d be congratulated properly.

But come Monday morning, that certainty was shattered.
Our congratulations was a five second announcement – “The girl’s swim team won Conference on Saturday. Good job girls” – instantly followed by a FLC update and forgotten. I thought to myself, Is that all? After all the work, the commuting to Lockport and Bolingbrook for practice, the morning weight training, the fundraisers and everything, all we’re worth is five seconds?

I realize that the girl’s swim team is only a group of about twenty girls plus two coaches. I’m also well aware that the team has only existed for five years. But I believe that if a team does exceptionally well, bringing some additional attention and reputation to the school, they deserve a bit of extra recognition. We spent all season trying to prove we could do it – and when we did, no one noticed.

After all, football got an entire pep rally. People missed school to watch soccer play. But there are so many other sports in this school that achieve greatness, bringing home all kinds of trophies, and hardly anyone hears about it. Teams like tennis, golf, and bowling have won Conferences and sent players to State; but what percentage of the student body knew about this, let alone went to cheer their classmates on?

We’re not looking to get our own pep rallies. We don’t want parades. We just want our achievements to be recognized and appreciated for a bit longer than the five seconds it takes to read an announcement. We want people to stop questioning the fact that what we do is in fact a sport. We are dedicated athletes who train, practice, and compete just as much as any other sport member; and we’re winners. We’ve brought a little extra glory to our high school, and we want our classmates, and teachers, to give us some respect – for more than five seconds.

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This article has 1 comment.

Emily said...
on Jan. 26 2009 at 2:39 am
Wow - great job! I'm on a bowling team and can relate. I don't see why some sports receive more praise then others. Every sport requires the same amount of skill, practice, passion, and dedication. Great article!


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