The Struggles of Being an Unsupported Sport

The Under-Rated Sport: Soccer

The+Struggles+of+Being+an+Unsupported+Sport

Valerie Kirby

Many people in Macon County are focused on football and basketball. The next sports in line are baseball, softball, and volleyball. Soccer isn’t supported in Macon County, and it is a sport that people trash-talk a lot of times.

Games

Students don’t come to soccer games like they go to the other sports. They believe it is boring or as some students call it, “gay.” If you would actually put in a little time and effort to understand the game, you may find it fun or at the very least, interesting. People are constantly talking bad about the sport, but they don’t understand that the soccer teams work just as hard, if not harder, than them in every practice and game. The middle school teams play 30 minute halves without stopping. They don’t get breaks between plays or quarters, only halftime. The game doesn’t have “plays” either. The players have to decide what they want to do with the ball as soon as it is in their possession. They must decide what is best for the whole team within two or three seconds, otherwise, the opponents will steal the ball from them. The students don’t support their classmates at their games. Many times, the bleachers have no students, only family members of the players.

Danger of the Game

During a soccer match, the players wear only shinguards for protection. They don’t have padding and helmets like some other sports teams. The thing is, those other teams aren’t even the ones who are purposely using their whole body, including their head and chest, to win a ball out of the air. Soccer players have to get very physical to get a ball out of the air, and the thing is, the ball may be thirty, forty, or even fifty feet in the air with players rushing to use their heads to receive it. People say soccer isn’t a physical sport, but they obviously have never seen a rough game, never mind the high school and professional games. In a home game our MCJH girls’ soccer team played, a girl from the DeKalb county team was hit in the face with a ball. The ball was kicked by a Macon player, bounced off of a DeKalb player’s knee, and nailed a small girl on the DeKalb team right in the face. All three players were within about three feet of each other. She didn’t know where she was, what she was doing, her or her parents’ names, and she wasn’t at school for weeks. That girl was in the hospital for three days. Soccer players get crushed and shattered bones, tears in the ACL or meniscus, and many other painful things. Some players never come back from these injuries.

Lack of Support from the Town

In Macon County, soccer isn’t given donations like other sports are. A lot of years, they use jerseys from previous years because they are suffering from lack of money. If the team is practicing, and it’s storming, the soccer team has to go home. This is because football reserves the right to kick us out of the indoor facility. In school, the soccer team doesn’t get rewards and pep-rallies when they go to tournament games. On the day that the football boys went to the championship game, students were lining the parking lot because a pep-rally wasn’t allowed. Students were even getting told by teachers to clap in support if they weren’t already. Our MCJH girls’ soccer team also went to a championship game this year, but they didn’t get a “pep rally” of any type. Many of the soccer players were furious.

Soccer World-Wide 

Soccer is a very popular sport throughout the world. According to FIFA, there are around 250 million people playing soccer in the world with about 24.4 million people playing in America. It is obvious that soccer is popular. There is no reason for it to be trashed by other people, especially not by the players’ “friends.”

Soccer is a very under-rated and disrespected sport in Macon County, and it’s time for a change.