Should All Sports Be Equal?
By: Alli Feraci
Sports at Pace High have been around for many years. From all the playoff performances by many stellar classes that have come though, some think there is more than just winning. There has been much heavy debate of what each program deserves based on gender. Right now, there is a debate going on between if the baseball team gets more benefits towards their program than softball. This whole debate started when a softball player went to administration about the baseball team getting to go to the Club House for workouts with a trainer, and how the softball team should be able to get that benefit too. It should be noted that baseball uses its funds that it raises throughout the year to pay for access and training at the Club House. Softball does not raise enough funds for these benefits yet are still wanting the same benefits as baseball. The state runner-up baseball team received a new batting cage during the summer and new gear from controversial alumni Addison Russell a few weeks ago. Both teams get a big amount of funds from ticket sales. Although there is little difference in ticket price, almost three times as many fans show up to baseball games over softball games.
I asked 3 members from the baseball and softball team to determine if the in equality is justified. The first question I asked was, “What are the best and worse features of your locker room?” A senior on the baseball team, Caleb Vincent, replied with, “The best is that it is clean, and it has AC; the worst is that freshman, JV, and varsity all share the locker room.” Based on the answers from the other players I asked, there are a lot more good features in their locker room than bad. Some of the better features that I was told are, how nice their varsity lockers are, AC and heat, the locker room is nicely organized, and the vending machine. The most common answer I got for the best feature was how they have AC and how good it works, which makes since because of baseball being a spring sport and it being hot most the season.
Some of the very few bad features that were mentioned were, the floors being dirty from their cleats, some old-ish equipment and a problem with a bathroom door. The most common answer for worst feature was how it smelt bad, but that’s a sacrifice they’re going to have to make being in the same room with over twenty sweaty boys every day.
For softball I asked another senior, Kenzie Leeser and she said, “Worst thing is the space because it’s really small and its really hot because we don’t have good ac, the best thing is that we all have a good bond because we are always around each other since the size of the locker room.” Based on the replies from all the softball players there seems to be more bad aspects over good. The good benefits that I was told were the lockers for varsity. That’s about it. Most replied with the lockers or said they didn’t have a “best feature” of the locker room. Now for the worse features, I was told they have horrible AC, small bathrooms with only 2 mirrors, dirty lockers and carpet, and no bathroom and showers. The most common answer I got was how bad of shape the locker room is and how there is no room to do anything.
The next question I asked was to determine who makes more funds. I asked, “What kind of fundraisers does your sport do throughout the year and how many?” The only player that knew of the fundraisers that the baseball team had besides Caleb who’s already mentioned, was a junior, Kobe Hesters. “I know we sold signs, sold raffle tickets to win a truck and 2 years ago we had a golf tournament, but I don’t know what we will do this year because it changed last year.” Most the boys I asked said they do around 2-4 fundraisers throughout the year, but most their funds come from their booster club and ticket sales. For the softball fundraisers a senior, Ryleigh Baker said, “We sell Boston butts and we do drawings where people sign up, and someone can win a blanket.” Based on what all the girls told me, they only have around 2 fundraisers a year and none of them mentioned anything about their booster club.
The final question I asked was “Do you think there needs to be any changes made with your sports program?” Will Lindholm, a junior, said “Maybe make the expenses a little cheaper, but besides that, no, I think it's fine.” Every other player I asked all said they didn’t see the need for change and they're happy the way everything is. As for the softball girls, as expected, many changes are wanted. Emmalynn Womack, a junior has said, “Yeah, the amount of money put into the program; it could get a field equal to the one baseball has. It's not hard to see which is better.” The other softball players said they too wanted change from, a nicer facility, a covered batting cage, a better locker room with an actual bathroom and better pitching bull pens. Clearly the softball program needs a little more work done compared to the baseball.
In conclusion, I do believe that baseball has more benefits and funds than the softball team, but that doesn’t make it “unequal” because based on the questions I asked, the baseball team has more fundraisers and a great booster club. Even though the softball team has many fundraisers, their booster club was never mentioned. Also, you must put in the equation that the baseball team got runner up for state last year, which means they had many more games. They also hosted the district tournament, which means more people came to their games, so that’s more tickets purchased. I'm not saying softball isn't doing enough, but maybe they should change up their fundraising and get a better booster club to help get the things they need. But from what I can see, there isn't much inequality based on the money they get from the county; baseball simply just raises more money and are therefore able to afford more luxuries.