Most students attending DHS are involved in a myriad of activities and as the school year approaches, classes and homework become more demanding, not leaving much time for extracurricular activities.
For students like senior Olivia Shelton, who is heavily involved with NHS, an International Baccalaureate Certificate candidate and works a steady job, it’s hard to find time to participate in school sponsored sports. Recreational sports such as basketball through the Midland Community Center and soccer through the Midland Soccer Club, give a nice relaxed alternative to the demanding school sanctioned athletics. Shelton use to play school sponsored sports until she suffered a season ending injury that caused her to rethink about playing the following year.
“I injured my knee and I decided it was best for my injury to not play that intensely with school ball,” Shelton said.
That following year she had found an alternative for school basketball, by playing in the Community Center League.
“I played CCL and it was fun because it brought a ton of girls from past travel basketball teams together and we were able to hold our own with the boys,” Shelton said.
Other DHS students find recreational sports to be a good alternative to school sports because of the reduced time commitment.
“School basketball took up a lot of time and for school teams, you have practice everyday which makes it hard to get homework done [and] be in bed at reasonable time,” senior Blair Subbaraman said. “On my CCL team, we don’t have practices, everyone just shows up on game day ready to play.”
Shelton also agrees that it is nice to have a break from school work that doesn’t take up too much time.
“Because practice isn’t as strenuous and time-consuming, it gives a nice break for exercise but doesn’t take up the whole evening,” Shelton said.
Recreational sports also provide an opportunity for people to play on the same team as their friends that are new to the sport or those who don’t quite reach the skill set necessary for school sports that have try-outs.
“There is no way I would have ever made the school basketball team because I’m new to the sport and haven’t really ever played it until I joined a CCL team,” senior Brandon Woo said. “I just like to play CCL so I can play on the same team as my friends and have fun and compete with them.
Along with basketball, recreational soccer has become an increasingly popular sport for DHS students. Many of the students who play recreational soccer never played for the school but played when they were younger. Some do it because it’s a fun way to stay in shape and exercise.
“I never played school soccer, but it’s just a fun way to keep active and do something new and fun with friends,” Shelton said.
Recreational sports have been know to have less intense competition because a majority of the more skilled players in a sport play for their school teams. This is one of the hardest things former school players go through.
“I do miss it because there’s certain teams you just wanted to beat pretty badly so it’s kind of hard to watch when you’re like, ‘oh I wish I could be playing’,” Shelton said.
Recreational sports provides students with busy schedules who focus hard on their academics an opportunity to play the sports they love. Although it may be hard for former students to adjust, they also create a less competitive atmosphere where students can play with their friends, a chance to exercise and a place to have a lot of fun.