Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

School vs. club sports

Christian Ermilio skates onto the rink during a club hockey game. He knows his game is going to be relaxed and he feels calm. A few days later Ermilio heads to the ice rink again but this time it’s for a KHS game. He high fives a buddy and they get ready to play hard. Their school, team, coach and community are all putting pressure on them to do well. He now represents the community of Kirkwood. Club allowed him to play more leisurely since there are different levels and multiple teams but in school hockey everyone has to bring it in order to be on the team. 

Christian Ermilio, sophomore, plays both club and high-school hockey and said both ways of playing your sport at a higher level are very different, with each having their own pros and cons. Ermilio said school sports gave him the ability to meet people he would never have bonded with otherwise. He said club sports can have a different social aspect because if you choose to play at a lower level you spend less time with your teammates and just show up to play. 

“[My time with school sports] has been really good,” Ermilio said. “It’s definitely given me a lot of experiences. I’ve gotten to know people I wouldn’t have normally met, so it’s definitely given me that benefit. [My teammates are] a group of people you can really talk to.”

It’s definitely given me a lot of experiences. I’ve gotten to know people I wouldn’t have normally met, so it’s definitely given me that benefit. [My teammates are] a group of people you can really talk to.

— Christian Ermilio

Emma Appel, junior, said another potential downfall with club sports is the bias towards players’ backgrounds that go into playing time and treatment on a team. She said for her club field hockey team people get better treatment based on what school they go to. 

“There is a lot of politics that go into club field hockey,” Appel said. “If you go to private school, you’re more likely to be on higher teams compared to public school kids. You get swept under the rug for club field hockey.” 

Ermilio and Appel agree that school sports can also be hard because of the lack of support from students, especially at KHS. Appel said girls sports aren’t respected and for field hockey, their equipment is vandalized and goals have to constantly be replaced. Appel also said even when they’re having a good season for a girls sport no one shows up to watch them play. Ermilio feels there is not enough support for hockey as well. 

“I think I would like to see at least for hockey a bit more representation in the actual school,” Ermilio said. “I would like to see that introduced even though we are technically a club at Kirkwood. I think we should still have more school-wide announcements to let people know about the hockey team.” 

If you are wanting to keep playing sports after high school, KHS girls softball coach, Jeff Moffat, explains that club sports may actually have an advantage when it comes to college recruiting. In club sports there are more opportunities for coaches to come watch. 

“You can get recruited a little easier on the club side,” Moffat said. “Especially with softball because those college recruiters are going to tournaments and showcases. Some still come to your high school games but not as much. Obviously there is video (as well) and you, your parents or organization can take a video and you can send those videos to your future college coaches. 

Moffat has coached on all different levels of club softball. He said sports and programs have done their job when they  give players life skills for the future. That’s what a player should look for in a sports team whether school or club. 

Things that I have learned through the years are being developmental and not focusing on the wins and losses

— Jeff Moffat

“Things that I have learned through the years are being developmental and not focusing on the wins and losses,” Moffat said “Teaching to have integrity, having respect and all of that — those are things that are going to take you further. Not everybody is going to forever play a sport. There is going to come a day where you’re not going to play anymore and if we can help build you as an individual and be a better human in the community, then we have done our job, whether that’s four years from freshman to senior or that’s in club.” 

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