Category Archives: High School Sports

Sports vs. Art (Final)

The two most cut programs in High School are sports programs and arts programs, however in a recent poll, respondents said they

A poll done at shows that 12.08% of voters saw sports as unnecessary compared to only 1.24% against Arts

would rather cut the school newspaper, summer school, field trips, security guards, custodians and libraries before they touched sports or arts. This poll is telling because despite what people want, schools continue to cut arts and sports when trimming down. If a school isn’t cutting both, there is usually a tough decision as to which one to cut and it can go either way. The argument is broken down simply among most people: Sports are better for us physically and arts are better for us mentally. In reality though, it isn’t that simple. Studies have shown that playing sports can be great for mental health as well as physical health and for arts studies have shown that arts can stimulate the brain and keep someone more active, which could lead to better physical health.

Regardless of what studies say however, people will always have their opinion and this flip book shows a few opinions from people on whats more important.

When asked, Cheshire Athletic director Steve Trifone didn’t shy away from sports “I would think that, in athletics your serving more kids, but that doesn’t mean you shy away from the arts. Sports are big, its not just win loss, theres a lot more for the kids behind the scenes.”

Arts can are also important because of the ability to have an arts class  and an after school club. “My favorite class in all of my high school career was probably my music
theory class in junior year. The class was a blissful break from the
typical structure of the typical math and science class. It taught me,
not only as a musician, but as a student, to be a more creative and
resourceful human being.” Said a student when asked in a New York Times article. Due to budget cuts, the percentage of kids with access to music has declined to about 50%.

Whats more important?

With this debate comes the bigger issue at hand, which is undoubtedly the budget cuts themselves. Almost 300,000 jobs have been lost since 2008 and that includes higher education and thats a number that could increase as country wide budgets will most likely decrease by over 10%.

Average amount of kids enlisted in each major sports program

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High School Sports Cuts Can Hurt Athletes and their Opponents.

Can playing sports really help dropout rates? According to a cut in the sports aspect of school could cause more kids to drop out of high school. What the article says is that kids would have more free time on their hands, leaving them to potentially fall to the dangers of the streets. Even companies like KKOS (Keeping Kids Off the Streets) believe that athletics can help kids by shaping their lives in a positive way.  Some high school kids have to look elsewhere to find sports to play, which has caused the creation of many local boxing clubs. The clubs provide a place for kids to go who don’t have a high school sport to play or couldn’t make a team. If budget cuts cause less sports, then that means less spots for kids to occupy, thus fewer student athletes. Although some of these clubs provide a place for kids to go, some of them may not provide the academic standards that a high school team would have, which could lead to decline in the classroom.

Beyond just how cutting programs can affect the kids directly playing for those teams, it also can affect the kids who they play against and their teams. When a school decides to cut a sports program, another school that planned on playing that team the upcoming season has to work to get another opponent, and in some cases may need to move to another division with more teams. Schools can cut out sometimes as many as eight of their sports teams to coincide with a reduction in funding for the teams that remain afterwards.  Continuing cuts in schools could lead to more protests in high schools as students and parents become frustrated.

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A Timeline of High School Budget Cuts

This timeline shows some of the school systems that dealt with budget cuts throughout the years. It goes as far back as 2000 and right away it shows that in the current economy a lot of schools are struggling with meeting their budget. The schools all handle meeting their budgets in different ways, however cutting sports is one of the more popular ways.
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Cheshire High School Athletics Thrives

One of the models of what a school’s athletic fields should look like as well as one of the models for a stable sports program, Cheshire High has a great set-up for its athletes. A set up that Athletic Director Steve Trifone loves and still thinks can be improved.

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Could a Cut of Sports Affect Males More?

Would a cut of high school sports programs affect males more than females? As it stands males already have a much lower graduation rate than females. There are  more males participating in sports programs than females, and if those programs were to be cut a dropout rate could increase among males.

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High School Football Fields in Connecticut

One of the most expensive parts of having sports programs in a high school is the cost of a quality playing field. Unlike the professional equivalent, when a high school puts money into building a new stadium or field its unlikely to earn that money back in a short amount of time, which makes building or upgrading a field very unattractive to school boards when its comes to budget crunching. In some states like Texas  high school football teams can play in lavish stadiums that cost as much as $20 million to build and even one that will cost an estimated $60 million for Allen High School. While those schools teams play in lavish conditions, some schools are forced to play on torn-up fields that sometimes don’t even have bleachers for parents to sit in. While the cost of stadiums is staggering even when the fields are modest, schools still find ways to fit the cost of upgrades and upkeep into the budget every year. Most high school teams have their own home fields but some teams have found that sharing a field with another school can be a good way to split the costs.

When it comes to overall budget cuts, schools don’t look at stadiums or fields because the money was already spent, so sometimes even when things are being cut, there is room for field upgrades and sometimes even construction.  When it comes to the economy fields and stadiums are almost recession proof due to the fact that the need for those fields to serve the city in which they are built will always there as long as kids are playing sports.  Yearly maintenance costs for stadiums and fields can sometimes be the reason for an upgrade even when the budget is tight as turf is cheaper to maintain than grass according to Cheshire Athletic Director Steve Trifone

“The overuse of the field and the quest for more field time, we were just unable to keep grass” Trifone said.

Turf  will also last longer making it cheaper over the long haul even though the cost of installation can cost over a million dollars.  Some coaches would even say, that a turf field can make coaching easier.

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The Sounds of Sport

High school sports are not only good for kids physically but also mentally. Sports give kids the chance to bond with friends, develop their social interaction skills, and learn to deal with success and disappointment. The socialization that sports can give will help a kid make friends and form good childhood memories.  Every kid knows the sounds of sports.  The crack of a bat, and the thud of a tennis serve.  The beauty and sound of sports can sometimes be forgotten in the arguing over their importance. Sports are more than statistics, wins, and loses, they are a way for kids to stay active and grow up healthy.

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