The coach is yelling at you; shouts of encouragement come from the sidelines. Your teammates are lined up on the bench, standing on their feet cheering, you can feel the energy, the mud sticking to your cleats, the wind hitting your face and the protest in your muscles as you sprint. You look towards the ball, running along with your teammates. It’s the perfect day for a game as the sun shines down on you, the only thing missing is the audience in the stands. This is an East High girls’ soccer game. In 2014-2015, 74,738 people showed up to watch the men’s soccer FIFA world cup finals whilst 53,341 people showed up to watch the woman’s soccer FIFA world cup finals. But when it comes to sports at East High School, the funding is based on “needs and wants” as Athletic Director Lyle Fedders puts it. East does not have enough money to support the needs every sport at East demands, so they focus on the needs of the team. However, if small amounts of people show up to each game, it can be hard to raise money to fulfill the needs of the team. The East High Girls Soccer team is based on JV and Varsity teams; the varsity team practices on the football field on artificial turf, while the JV team practices on the small soccer fields in the back that are shared with the boys soccer team and sometimes the Hiatt middle school soccer teams. However, during track meets it causes problems because there is no space left to practice with. This makes the girls team to have to travel down the road to Grandview College in order to continue with practice. Even when the practice conditions and space is sorted out, the team spends hour practicing all over the place for games, even when only family members show up.
“Not very many people show up to girls’ soccer games,” Varsity soccer player, Taylor Baker said.
Baker, along with many other players feel that more people should show up to the girls’ soccer game to improve the amount of funding we get along with the environment and feeling of the game.
“I think people look at any sport as a boy thing and that’s why they don’t show up very often when girls have games,” Baker said. People seem to associate sports to being a boy thing not something for girls to try.
“More people follow boys sports,” teacher and mom of soccer player, Kristina Garcia said.
Like multiple other parents and players, she notices the gap between boys and girls sports.
When asked about the girls soccer team, “I think we’re better,” Garcia said.
Overall, boys and girls both deserve the same equipment and attendance for their games, girls games are as, if not more competitive than the boys games. Anyone is welcome to come to girls soccer games or join the girls soccer team at East High School. (The first soccer practice is March 20).