Wanted posters and missing fans


A few weeks ago, wearing a brown bag over your head would’ve been the only way to not notice the posters in the girls’ locker room. The basketball team had quotes covering almost every square inch of empty wall space, and even parts of the floor.

“They are a little bit over the top”, sophomore Katie Nelson said. Sophomore Reagan Wilks agreed.

Varsity basketball player Katie Biggers doesn’t understand why promoting basketball is a big deal. She said the posters motivate her not only during basketball season, but also for soccer in the spring.

“They had basketball on them, but they motivate other sports too,” Biggers said.

Freshman softball player Carolina Mach disagrees. “ motivating for the basketball team, they don’t really apply to me… It bothered some other girls on the team,” Mach said.

After school on April 6, a group of girls walked into the locker room. The walls were almost completely bare. The last girls’ basketball varsity game had been played over a month earlier, and spring sports were well underway. The athletes assumed the basketball coaches had taken them down and stowed them away until next season. This was not the case.

By the next day, everyone knew the real story. The posters had been stolen. A few had been found crumpled up and stuffed into a C-team soccer player’s locker. The entire room became dead silent when the girls’ basketball coach wife explained what had really happened. She insisted the culprit would be found. A few of the girls’ eyes went wide and their jaws dropped, shocked by the news. The second the speech was over, the gossip started.

“I can’t believe that happened.”

“Who do you think did it?”

Coach Dickson refused to comment, but everyone questioned agreed that stealing and damaging the posters was not acceptable. They also said it was easy to see why someone would take them down. Focusing on an elite number of sports can lower morale of other athletes, or make their achievements feel less important.

Northwest has a great athletic programs and, despite the lack of participation in Spirit Week, the hallways always seem to become a sea of orange and black for “Cougar Crazy” Fridays. The student section is packed for boys’ varsity basketball and football home games. Not to say that being in the crowd for those games isn’t fun — the rules of the games are simple enough for almost everyone to understand, and students don’t usually have to travel long distances to attend. It’s a great social environment, and plays a part in having the “ultimate high school experience.” However, Northwest’s non-traditional sports teams sometimes lack support and go unacknowledged.

One example would be cross country. If you haven’t attended a meet, you’re missing out. It’s more than attending a sporting event. It’s an experience. The atmosphere is unmistakably positive, and the fans are dedicated. The courses are skillfully set up in different rural areas, and with the refreshing change of scenery, attending a meet with your friends can sometimes feel like a much needed mini-vacation.

Even with all those things in mind, winning is the best part. The boys reclaimed their crown at the state championship this year, taking home the first place trophy for the fifteenth time in the past seventeen years. The girls’ had runners place in all races, and the team earned third place at State.

Cross-country isn’t the only under appreciated sport at Northwest. Girls’ tennis had an overall successful season, and the team was able to send two girls to State. The ladies on the gymnastics team also won State this year. That makes for an exciting comeback after last year, when a violation that hadn’t been enforced in thirty years cost them the title and knocked them down to finish in third place. The varsity wrestling team beat eleven other schools to win the Cougar Invitational for the first time ever, and they qualified eight wrestlers for State.

It’s unfortunate one of the only times these sports are mentioned is during the dance assemblies; during that time the only thing most students are concentrating on is the pair of knees being jabbed into their back and the crackling over the sound system. Morning announcements acknowledge certain achievements, but they’re barely audible in most classrooms.

Students shouldn’t feel obligated to attend every cross-country meet, or drive three hours to watch a wrestling match all day. But with all the talented athletes that attend our school, everyone should put aside some time to attend a variety of events.

Edelawit Hussien