Article by: Josh M.

As the end of the school year fast approaches, members of the school community welcome the beginning of the third and final sports season. Third season athletes eagerly anticipate the beginning of softball, badminton, golf, and track and field tryouts. However, the beginning of a new season also marks the time for the seasonal sports award banquet. The banquet provides those recently retired second season athletes with one last chance to reminisce about their past season with teammates and coaches before fully embracing the new season.

The sports awards banquets are usually held approximately two weeks after a season ends, and has the purpose of bringing the teams of the previous season together one last time in order to recollect and reflect on the highs and lows of their season. The semi-formal dinner event also recognizes athletes who have stood out in their respective sports such as graduating seniors, four-year athletes, All-Tournament winners, and MVPs. Although the awards are not mandatory to attend, JV and Varsity athletes are strongly encouraged to come in order to provide closure and well-deserved recognition of players and coaches. However, the length of the event and the fact that it is held on a school night have caused controversial views about whether it is really worth it, especially for those busy IB students who might rather be studying or resting.

BT turned to some student athletes for their opinions about the importance of sports awards. Junior and Varsity Girls Basketball All-Tournament recipient Mia D. shares that the awards allow everyone to “recognize all the hard work that the athletes and coaches put into the season and the rewards that came with it.” One possible aspect of the awards that has turned students off from attending is the need to listen to speeches from sports other than your own; however, this view is scarce, as Mia adds that it is also nice how the awards allow teams to recognize “not only your own commitment throughout the season but that of the other sports as well.”

Sophomore and Varsity Touch Vice Co-captain Kayla U. also thinks that the sports awards rightfully demonstrate both individual and team success, but in contrast also adds that, “The event can drag on for rather long,” due to the fact that so many teams and players get recognized. Kayla reflects that the event is especially tough on students who “do multiple seasons as they already have to balance catching up on work missed in season, but lose precious work time because of the awards.” As a result, Kayla suggests that one idea could be to hold individual team awards, as that will make the event “less time-consuming and more authentic in a more comfortable environment.”

For junior and Varsity Boys Basketball player Dale Y., the sports awards “provide great closure to the season for all.” Given that student athletes work hard for months honing their skills and mastering their craft, Dale believes that recognizing the different teams’ efforts is important as “athletes don’t have the time in-season to look over how much they have achieved.” Similar to Kayla’s view, Dale also thinks that sports awards often clash with school commitments and suggests that they be moved to Friday or Saturday nights when students have less work to worry about. Despite the few cons of sports awards, the event is definitely valuable in offering all teams one last chance to come together before bidding farewell until next year. Though time consuming, athletes and parents generally realize the importance of this period of recognition, especially when considering the hard work and dedication put in by such passionate Bearcat coaches.

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