Hundreds of students line the stands during the Friday night football game, forming a sea of red, giving the team as much support and recognition as possible. Unfortunately, people seem to forget that academic achievements matter as well and that sports are not what matters most.
Our school is recognized nationally for academic achievement and one of the best schools in the state, yet students do not seem to pay any attention to that fact at all. U.S. News & World Report ranked FHS ninth in the state and 971st nationally. Newsweek Magazine ranked FHS seventh in the state and 707th nationally. Washington Post named the school sixth in the state and 708th nationally. That is hardly even recognized by the student body. FHS recently received an A with a perfect 4.0 score for the 2011-2012 school year from the Indiana Department of Education’s assessment (read more about the scoring here).
Academic performance by the students here is outstanding, but very few people could actually name off the National Merit Scholars or how well Quiz Bowl performed at Brain Game. Almost every person, though, could automatically name off the score from the football game last Friday or know which sports teams are having a great season.
While, yes, sports are still an important part of the high school experience and their accomplishments are important, that does not mean that they should be recognized more than the academic success.
Let’s face the facts: sports are glorified through our culture. Whole days are committed to football games; whole channels committed to sports alone. Everyone knows when the Superbowl will be and prepare for cheering on the team they want to win. Trophies, money, fame; it all comes along with the portrayal of professional athletes.
The team members here, although not as glorified, can be recognized just as easily. People know the names of the top athletes and announcements are given on a daily basis to keep everyone updated on the success of all the sports teams.
When it comes down to it, sports are important to almost everyone. It is something people experience for years, just by spending time around their friends and families. Television shows portray the academically successful as nerdy or geeky causing the positive reputation to be seen as a negative one in most cases which is the exact opposite of how it should be. Academics are just as important as sports, probably, even more important because one day that intelligence is going to push their success even further in their career.
The school prides itself on the student body that has proven multiple times how great they really are. Cleaning up the stands after games or supporting their fellow peers or multiple other things that many notice throughout the year. That support does not follow through for everyone most of the time.
The question is why the same recognition given to those who worked just as hard as any member on a sports team is not given to those who show great academic success? It is supposed to be all about tiger pride, yet that pride is not being shared equally throughout the school. Instead, the pride is only shown through the extremely large crowds at football games and hardly any congratulations go towards the scholars or academic clubs.
Everyone wants a little recognition or just somebody to say good job once in awhile, but people cannot receive that feeling of accomplishment if no one pays attention to their success.