Northwest NEWS

July 5, 1999

Editorial

Northshore athletes deserve the same opportunities as those from other districts

   The opportunities for athletes needs to be consistent throughout all school districts in Kingco League. The student-athletes from all school districts in Kingco should have the same opportunities.

   Some districts have athletic programs that allow for four years of high school participation and others have athletic programs that only allow for three years of high school participation. All freshmen should be able to take part in high school sports for all four years of their high school years whether they are students at the high school or students at a junior high. The freshmen that are allowed to play on the high school team have one more year of experience than those who aren't allowed to play their freshman year.

   From experiences on my own club soccer team, I have noticed a difference in the players that were able to play high school soccer their freshman year and those that weren't. My team is made up of players from Northshore, Lake Washington, Issaquah, Bellevue, and Mercer Island school districts.

   Ten of the fifteen were able to play high school soccer, but five weren't. Those ten players became more physical, and their level of play increased because they are playing with and against sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Since the other players on their team and their opponents played more physical, then they became more physical players. Those five players who couldn't play high school soccer all attended school in the Northshore School District.

   Northshore is the only school district in Kingco that doesn't allow their freshman to play high school soccer. When I have talked to some of the Northshore School District coaches, they wish that Northshore was the same as the other school districts. They also feel they don't get the same amount of good players as the other schools because they have one less grade level to choose from. Therefore, the overall depth of the team doesn't compare to the other school districts because they have to keep players that may not be as good as the freshman they wish they could have.

   If you want your freshman to have the same opportunities as other freshmen in Kingco, then you should act upon it. Gather together a group of people that feel the same way and attend some district board meetings and voice your opinion. Talk to the athletic director of Northshore School District, or even start a petition and present it to the district.

Megan Jefferson, Woodinville