Recreation Sports Excite Students

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Athletes at BV West dedicate hours a week to practicing and training in order to compete against other high schools in the EKL.  They have high-stress games and tournaments that require strength, agility, and competitiveness. Many students who aren’t the highest skilled in a particular sport get cut from the teams or don’t try out in the first place. However, there is another alternative to enjoying a sport- playing in a recreational league.

“Our recreational soccer team name is the Rec Soccer Crew,” senior Madeline Distler said. “It came in part from the successful boys soccer season this year and what the fans called themselves.”

Recreational sports are extremely popular around BV West students, especially to those who want to play just for the fun of the game.

“I decided to play because I missed playing soccer after I quit, and I thought that it would be fun to play again,” Distler said. “Also, I didn’t know a lot of the players on the team very well so it was a good opportunity to meet new people.”

Deciding to join a recreational soccer or basketball league opens new opportunities for students.

“The difference between [rec] and BV West basketball is that there are no practices,” senior Jared Singer said. “Plus the games are really fun for the players because they can mess around and nobody gets mad.”

Since there are no practices, most players are less serious about the games and are solely playing for enjoyment.

“It’s fun playing for a team where you want to win, but in all honesty, it’s fine if you lose,” Distler said. “Players on our team came from a lot of different skill levels- some never even having played soccer before.”

Many people aren’t playing in order to improve their skill.

“When we won our first game, our coach bought each of the players a tanning package,” senior Kasey Liertz said. “It was our incentive and it worked.”

Obviously, those who have played on both school and recreational teams can see the clear difference.

“BV West has cuts, a two hour practice every day, a certified coach, and it’s all focused on winning and advancing in the post season play,” Liertz said. “[Rec] basketball is really for fun and anyone can play even if you’ve never played basketball before or don’t consider yourself athletic.”

Without the commitment and dedication required of school athletes, those who play for recreational leagues are sometimes new to sports.

“A lot of people are excited to play for a team that doesn’t have a competitive edge,” Distler said. “BVW soccer teams are very competitive and with [rec] teams it’s a great way to play and enjoy a sport that you haven’t played in a long time, or to try a new sport altogether.”

Recreational teams provide the perfect outlet for any student, both serious about sports and not.

“I would advise every student who doesn’t play a sport for the school to join a [rec] team because it can be as fun as you want it to and as serious as you want it to,” junior Austin O’Grady said.

Plus, there are other benefits beyond the enjoyment factor that motivate students to join a recreational team.

“It is doing something active,” Liertz said. “It draws a lot of people because of the team aspect; it’s a team sport and everyone gets to contribute and participate.”

Even though playing a recreational sport has many benefits, there are some downfalls. One is the money needed to join a team. It costs $995 people per team to register a recreational basketball team. (bluevalleyrec.org) Plus teams have to provide their own uniforms. This can add to this expensive cost. To form a recreational coed soccer team through All American Indoor Sports, it costs $670 for 8 games. (aaiskc.com)

“The worst thing about [rec] sports is the cost,” Distler said. “It definitely cots a lot to play, especially when you add in player card fees and such.”

Another negative aspect to joining a recreational sport is dealing with the diverse level of abilities.

“The lack of skill can be frustrating,” senior and recreational soccer coach Kim Martin said. “But it is more fun and less stress on the players.”

For those who are used to playing sports with a high level of competition, it can seem confusing.

“[Rec] basketball isn’t about the competition, but I easily forget that since I’m so competitive,” Liertz said. “When we’d lose I’d have to remind myself that it is really just [rec] basketball.”

However, with this lack of skill, winning games is easier.

“There isn’t as much satisfaction when you win compared to school or competitive sports,” O’Grady said. “Our [rec] basketball team is going 7-0 so far this season.”

These successful seasons create amazing memories.

“My favorite memory from indoor [rec] soccer is when Rachel Smith tried to kick the ball forward, but instead managed to kick the ball sideways and right into the face of a player on the opposing team who was sitting on the sidelines,” Distler said.

Sometimes joining a recreational team can create minor injuries too.

“My favorite memory was when Lucas Cohen broke his finger,” Singer said. “He popped it back into place and kept playing.”

Even with the risk of injuries, everyone who plays a season of recreational basketball or soccer advises others to do the same.

“You walk onto the team ready to have fun with your friends, meet new people, play some basketball and get a cool jersey,” Liertz said. “Then you end up walking away with friendships and memories you’ll remember forever.”

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