Are Certain H-F Sports Overlooked?


Photo by Myajah Wilson

H-F football fans at the homecoming game

The array of sports opportunities at H-F is broad. There are countless chances for students to get involved in a sports team, most with very skillful and attentive coaching.

Last year, our girls wrestling team placed highly in the state competition. Attalia Watson, who was a junior at the time, placed first, and multiple other H-F representatives placed highly as well.

Media coverage for this accomplishment by the girls’ wrestling team was minimal, especially when compared to a victory in one of our subjectively more popular sports such as football or volleyball. 

“We need to do a better job of making sure our girls get the correct spotlight for when they win,” stated Dr. Clinton Alexander, H-F’s new principal. “It’s unfair and inequitable to celebrate one sport and not another.” 

One major difference between wrestling and the football team, for example, is that football just has a higher rate of participation. The sport is more popular for engagement but also for audiences as entertainment. You’d never expect the same amount of fans to show up to a wrestling match than you would a football game. This has nothing to do with the prestige of the sport, but merely with what people like to watch. Additionally, football games are broadcast on a much larger scale, while most students aren’t even aware when a wrestling match is taking place.  

Sports like football also consume much more funding than typical sports. “Money is allocated based on the basic needs and required equipment within the sport,” Alexander states. As football is a contact sport and much more physical than others, there’s no other option than to dedicate higher finances towards obtaining proper gear to keep the athletes in their safest state, so they can perform to the best of their ability. 

However, football isn’t necessarily a more contact sport than wrestling, so there’s no way to formulate a consistent pattern on which sports get more funding than others. It solely depends on what that sport entails. 

Still, that doesn’t explain why stands overflow at football games and why they’re almost empty at wrestling matches. It’s not subjective that our wrestling teams perform better than football, and if it’s not a matter of higher-quality equipment, then what is it?

H-F is especially unique in how many sports options there are. With this, there’s an increase in how many sports are in season at one time, which can stretch audience attendance pretty thin per sport. 

Not to mention that football is a more traditional sport than wrestling. It’s been at H-F longer, it’s been a professional league longer, and it simply attracts more sports fans due to the high-pace movement, intimidating strategy, and the iconic nature it imposes on our nation’s history.  

“I believe national popularity correlates far more,” stated H-F fencing coach, David Greene. “I love the support we get from the school, without it we would not be nearly as successful as we have been.”