Girls in Sports

Nia Braccidiferro and Bryan Albee

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At Hall High School, girls desire to try out for football and other male dominated sports, apart from sports that have female counterparts, especially this year since there hasn’t been a girl on the football team since 2015. Are they not attempting to try out because they lack the opportunity or encouragement? For girls in every sport, there is a different story on how they got to where they are today.

Erin Bellucci believed that gender had nothing to do with sports talent. She aspired to be apart of the football team at Hall High School, since her uncle, Eric Mangini, is a former head coach of the New York Jets & Cleveland Browns, and her father is a football coach at another high school. In 2015, she tried out and gained a spot on the team as the placekicker. She was allowed to do this because of Title IX, a law that was passed in 1972, which mandates that all schools extend equal educational and athletic opportunities to all genders. Young women are increasingly demanding access to sports stereotypically deemed masculine and they’re succeeding. Hall High School football coach, Frank Robinson stated that, “As long as you’re willing to commit the way everyone else is, then it’s a great thing.” His advice for questioning newcomers, whether it be boys or girls is that, “If there is someone who wants to do that, and they’re strong enough and fast enough, go for it. I just want to coach good kiddos, it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female.” Senior football player, Andrew Nicklas, commented, “I have never seen a girl try out for football and not make the team or even not play​, nor has this ever happened to my knowledge. I personally would love to see more people try out for football.There really isn’t any type of discrimination towards anybody, we just want the best 11 football players out there on every down.”

In relation to the other sports that are widely popular here at Hall, baseball is one of the many sports that have a female counterpart, which is softball. Since there is an opportunity to play a similar version of the sport, there is no reason for girls to ask to try out for baseball. Hall baseball coach, Jeff Billing, agreed that “There are a lot of female sport offerings, so I don’t think at Hall it’s the case where there’s not options for them to play, it’s probably more enjoyable for them to play a sport with a bunch of other girls and against girls. But I would imagine that if there

were-there are some people who consider playing a sport with the guys, choose not to just because of social and peer pressures and they would feel uncomfortable doing it.” Pressures from society and peers are affecting the decisions and thoughts of today’s youth by impacting what they want to participate in high school and the rest of their lives. These could be some of the reasons why today’s teenagers don’t take risks and challenge societal  norms. Junior softball player, Valerie Barrieau, said, “I honestly hope that it could improve in the future, but most likely due to the way that sports are presented in the mass media and even in sport stores, it isn’t very likely unless certain people drastically change their views.” We need people to think outside the box and attempt to visual a vibrant future, so we can take the steps to make the changes for the younger generations.

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