This spring, teams struggled with short benches, contributing to a more challenging season—especially for Varsity Baseball and Varsity Girls Lacrosse.
This stands in stark contrast to last spring, when Varsity Girls Tennis, Varsity Boys Baseball, and Varsity Girls Lacrosse won league championships.
While girls tennis increased in numbers, girls lacrosse lost seven players, with only two substitutes. Baseball lost the most players, and relied on middle-schoolers to field a team.
All of this illuminates a concerning trend, with more students opting to participate in after school activities rather than team sports.
Toward the end of the spring season, Head Varsity Baseball Coach Joe Iuliano plead with students to join the boys baseball team, which suffered from several injuries. Otherwise, Iuliano said, the team would not be able to compete in the remainder of their games. Fortunately, students stepped up to the call.
But such drastic lengths should not be necessary to field a team, especially one that has won multiple league championships.
While recent changes to the athletic requirement are a good start, allowing students to opt out of a season of activity after participating in two team sports, more should be done to build spring team rosters.
The School could consider limiting after school activities, which might redirect interest to sports teams. While it’s important to give students some choice, it’s also essential to have enough competitors.
To attract baseball players, the School should continue to search for a home field. That the team has won several league championships without proper facilities is astounding, all the more so as the Gators compete against teams with full baseball diamonds.
We understand that it’s difficult to find such space, but the struggles of this season should not deter the School from continuing its search. The School also has a talented coach in Iuliano, and he could accomplish even more with a proper field.
Otherwise, the School risks losing one of its most successful teams.