Editorial: Sports and Spirit, or a Lack Thereof

Students at Southwest Career and Technical Academy have voiced their concerns by writing letters to the editor, which can be viewed in the most recent “Letters to the Editor” postings. Two of the major concerns identified a lack of school spirit and wanting officially sanctioned sports teams made available to students.

One matter that cannot be changed is the addition of officially sanctioned sports teams. Being a career and technical academy, student ambassadors, community partners, counselors, and administration continuously try to recruit new students for the eleven programs that SWCTA offers to uphold the school’s magnet/vocational status. Because we recruit to maintain the integrity of our programs, we cannot have sports teams.

We are considered a recruiting school because students must apply to get in and have to go through a review and acceptance process. Comprehensive high schools, in which there is no criterion for acceptance, do not recruit because of the worry of “program integrity” is not present. Schools such as Bishop Gorman and Faith Lutheran are private schools in which students must go through an application process. It is essential to maintain their school’s educational status to recruit the best students.

The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association regulation NAC 386.822 states “students who are recruited cannot play against schools that do not.” For example, a SWCTA sports team could not compete against any CCSD team in a sanctioned game.

Luckily for student athletes, the regulation NAC 386.788 states “a pupil who attends a magnet school that does not offer a sanctioned sport…remains eligible at his school of residence for the purpose of participating in any sanctioned sport that is not offered at the magnet school.”

In other words, students at SWCTA may participate in sports at their home school. However, students who do not wish to play for their home school may form an intramural team at SWCTA afterschool, which would be allowed to compete with other CTA schools.

Many argue that because Southeast Career and Technical Academy has officially sanctioned sports, then SWCTA should have them as well. However, SECTA, the original Vo-Tech, only has these because of a “grandfathering” clause. A grandfathering clause states that something is exempt from new legislation, restrictions, or requirements. SECTA was the very first CTA and they had team sports before the new legislation was passed; however, they do not have a football team.

For example, in 2008, the zoning in CCSD for Palo Verde High School and Bonanza High School changed. Those who were in the affected range, and were part of the junior or senior class, could choose which of these two schools to attend. The current freshmen, sophomores and incoming students had to change schools based on their new zone.

Students, upon applying to SWCTA, were informed of the school’s sports policy. They still chose to come to a CTA school and should not complain because they knew the policy prior to attending Southwest Career and Technical Academy.

There are already some “student-interest” clubs on campus, such as Coyote Choir, Archery, Anime Club, and Lacrosse. Again, this requires student action. These clubs were started because a student located an advisor, created a constitution, elected officers, and met the requirements to begin a club on campus. If this is something you’d be interested in, find a staff member willing to be the advisor and they can help you fulfill all the requirements to be recognized as a SWCTA Club.

As for school spirit, there is a reason we have a student council. You can express your suggestions to program representatives, student council members, class officers, or student body officers. They have been elected to represent the student body, but if the student body doesn’t make suggestions, they can’t represent the student body effectively.

Students can go to Coyote Congress meetings on the first Friday of each month. Reminders can be found on banners around school and on the morning announcements. Voice your opinions in front of student council and program representatives.

Part of the lack of spirit, is due to the lack of participation. Students are notified of spirit days well in advance, and still do not partake in the event. Students should communicate amongst each other and encourage participation.

The time spent concentrating about what isn’t here, could be more effectively spent trying to plan things that could be here.