Noah Gillespie shares why rec teams are often win-win for everyone involved
Noah Gillespie, Reporter • May 13, 2015 - The Speaking Eagle
It would be quite challenging to find a significant number of students at Juan Diego who have not participated in a recreation sports league at some point in their lives. These sports include Little League soccer, baseball, football, etc.
While many of these same students seem to think that recreation sports are an activity for the younger generation, a comeback seems to be occurring among students at JD.
High school sports are definitely at the top of the totem pole as far as competition goes. The amount of dedication and work necessary to compete at that level may be a bit much for students who participate in other extracurricular activities or even other sports.
This is why recreation sports are a perfect alternative for those students who still want to play the sport and have fun with their friends, but do not have the time or skill to play at the high school level.
During the course of a high school season, many games and/or tournaments are held long distances from Juan Diego, which adds to the amount of time the sport consumes. Recreation leagues are often run through local cities with games and matches being held exclusively within that city or cities nearby. This equates to not having to miss out on as much school and can lessen the effect of that sport on a student’s grades.
Cost also plays a huge factor when playing high school sports. Playing a sport for the high school can range from a couple hundred to over a thousand dollars depending on the team, and that can sometimes be too much for students to handle. Recreation sports provide a reasonable alternative because athletes get nearly as many games, but for a fraction of the price.
Senior Connor Stolfa is part of a recreation soccer team that includes other students from JD. “It is more fun for me because I can put in what I want,” Stolfa said. “When you have no pressure and can relax, we all have a more enjoyable experience.”
While the competitive level of the recreation league may not be as high, the competitiveness of the players is still there. “In addition to being relaxed with your team, the games can get a little intense. Both teams still want to win and compete, but it is not as demanding as high school sports at the competitiveness level,” Stolfa said.
Junior Alex Lopez is in the same soccer league as Stolfa, but is on a different team that is also composed of players from JD. “My main focus right now is preparing for football, so I don’t have a huge amount of time to practice, but I still want to play and have fun with my friends,” Lopez said. “It is perfect for me because I don’t have to fully devote myself to the sport, but I get all the benefits of playing it for fun.”
In addition to participating in the recreation soccer league, Lopez has also participated on a Jr. Jazz recreation basketball team. “I can admit that I am not the best at basketball,” Lopez said. “But I still love to play the game, especially with my closest friends who are also in it just to have fun and be active.”
I have played three different high school sports and I enjoyed devoting myself to those sports, but they noticeably took a toll on my grades and other extracurricular activities. This is why I started playing recreation sports again for the first time since fifth grade. I can honestly say that I have had a blast being able to play the sports I love with my friends without all of the pressure and stress of being on the high school team.
High school sports are not for everyone. For me, I have found a greater enjoyment and an overall greater love of the game by playing on a recreation league with my friends than playing at a high competitive level. I truly believe that recreation sports are an excellent alternative to high school sports and I highly recommend getting a group of friends together and starting a team just for the fun of it.