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Unsung Sports

Photo by Karina Morales

Star athletes have the chance to show off their athletic abilities to their school, dominating the basketball court, winning–but the select few participating in competitive club sports don’t have the same glory associated with their sport. Eagle Rock High School’s fiery teens take athleticism to the next level with their alternative sports.

Junior Mathilda Barr has been involved in equestrian sports for 9 years, and competes for Eagle Rock in the Interscholastic Equestrian League, representing one of the only LAUSD public schools in a field dominated by private, wealthy ones. She competes as a showjumper, where she and her horse aim to complete a course of around 12 jumps closest to the optimum time, working on her turns and control in order to get faster and more consistent rounds. Barr appreciates how the sport has given her an opportunity to face her fears and overcome challenges in her life, however, her largest concern with the equestrian world is the lack of accessibility for lower-income students, and she wishes she could see more racial and economic diversity in the sports field.

Seventh-grader Bella Clark is a speedy roller derby racer who has competed in roller derby for 2 years. Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating counter-clockwise around a track. Roller derby is played by approximately 1,250 amateur leagues worldwide, mostly inside the United States. Bella says that a common misconception about roller derby is the level of danger, and argues that it’s not as bad as you would think. Her participation in the sport has taken strides for all girls who are interested in unconventional sports.

Junior Amelia Kim is an avid lacrosse player. She claims that people generally think that lacrosse is full of affluent individuals. While the pricey element of the sport gives this some truth, it is still something that should be enjoyed by people of all socio-economic backgrounds. Her favorite part about lacrosse is when she is in full control of the ball and can feel the impact her movement has on the result of the game. When faced with a stump in the game she likes to remember what she learned during practice and just breathe. Lacrosse is not the most obscure sport, but its lack of popularity in the Los Angeles area creates some misconceptions from other folks. Overall, Kim is proud of her background in lacrosse and loves to show off her lacrosse swag.

While high school sports are a crucial part of your school experience, participating in a sport that others may not be as interested in doesn’t matter as long as you are doing what you love. These fantastic scholastic athletes are setting the BARR for athletic expectations.

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