Sports See Changes in Senior Roster

Sports+See+Changes+in+Senior+Roster

By: Forest Langhorne

Some people have a sport that they care about more than all the others. Whether they’re a football buff, a basketball fan, or a lax bro, it’s a sport that dominates their time and their hearts. However, not everyone is in the same situation, and when these people participate in sports, it can lead to erratic participation. And year after year, upperclassmen, and seniors in particular, have proven to be the most likely to switch or drop out of sports in high school.  

    One senior who switched sports this year is Tyler Demoss. Demoss, who in previous years had participated in varsity cross country, where he had been a starter since the inaugural season, switched to varsity football this year. “Football has always been something important in my life,” says Demoss. While he enjoyed his time participating in cross country, he had always wanted to play football, and with his senior year approaching, Demoss decided to give it a try, concluding “it was a great way to finish high school.” Demoss’ decision illustrates one of the main reasons why people decide to switch sports — to try out something new. Out of the 6 seniors interviewed for the story, 4 of them cited curiosity in other sports as at least one of the reasons they had switched, and 2 of them listed it as the main reason they had switched.

    Not everyone who switches a sport does it out of curiosity, however. One such senior is Forest Doss. Doss, who in previous years had participated in cross country and tennis, switched from tennis to track this year. “Even though I was good at tennis, playing it my senior year would have yielded virtually no benefits. I was accepted early decision to VA Tech so doing a spring sport at all didn’t really matter…being a cross country runner, I knew running long distance with Coach Harry for track would at least keep me in good physical condition,” Doss commented. This highlights another reason why seniors tend to switch sports more than others, and especially during the spring. Once seniors have applied to college, a lot of the incentive to continue with a sport is lost, as many people participate in high school athletics mainly for college applications. Once seniors send out their applications, they lose the motivation to spend time on something that in previous years had taken up lots of it. Then they switch or drop out, an extracurricular extension of the trend of seniors to lose motivation in the second semester, which is commonly called senioritis.

    However, seniors are not the only upperclassmen who are switching sports this year. A notable number of juniors have also switched sports this season, or joined a sport for the first time. According to a poll conducted for this story, 8 juniors have either switched sports or joined a new sport in just this spring season, not counting juniors who tried out for a new sport and got cut. But despite different situations and differences in age, the reasons given for switching sports were the same, with 5 of the juniors saying they had joined a new sport out of curiosity and the other 3 all listing different reasons.

    Besides switching sports, many juniors and seniors are also dropping out of sports this year.  While students’ dropping out of sports is not an uncommon phenomenon, the impacts it can have on sports rosters coupled with students switching sports can be serious. For example, out of the 12 players the Tuscarora boys’ tennis team had last year, 4 of them either switched or dropped out this year, which drastically changed this years roster. The famed Tuscarora boys’ varsity soccer team lost 2 of their star defenders from last year, seniors Ben Ogedegbe and Miles Davis, who dropped out in order to play on their club teams.

    This year, sports have seen their rosters rocked by the effects of upperclassmen switching or dropping out of sports. As juniors and especially seniors switch, join, or drop out, teams have had to adapt to new athletes and deal with the effects of what these changes mean. While it is yet to be seen how these changes will affect this year’s performance, they are sure to bring changes, and it will be up to the team’s new rosters to make sure they turn out well.