Rock Creek made a jump this year, going from 3A to 4A, in the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) classifications. With growing numbers of students, there has been talk that the number of sports offered may grow, too, since many 4A schools offer more extracurricular activities than Rock Creek currently does.
Ottawa High School, a 4A school, has boys soccer, tennis and golf, while the school also has girls soccer and tennis. McPherson, who is also 4A, has bowling, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis and orchestra. Even some smaller schools in the Mid-East League have a wider range of programs. Rossville has a golf team, and Wabaunsee is the only school in the league with a tennis program.
Rumor has it that there may be more teams for Rock Creek in the years to come and that a new junior varsity cheer team was added for next year.
“I think if you add more [sports and activities], more kids will go out,” sophomore Hayden Schlochtermeier said. “In cheer, we have already talked with the board about the possibility [of a dance team] down the line. I think it will help [because] cheer would not have to rush around at halftime.”
In a survey of random high school students, 11 percent of students were in favor of adding bowling and tennis, 24 percent for golf, 26 percent for a dance team and 27 percent were in favor of adding other activities, including soccer, swimming, lacrosse and chess club.
Junior Clint Dille agreed that it will encourage different groups of kids to participate and suggested boys soccer as an added sport.
“Yes, [I would participate] over cross country,” Dille said.
Schlochtermeier, though, opposed the idea of adding soccer, saying, “It is not popular here.”
Many students have been talking about the possibility of adding a golf team to the high school. The new math teacher Caleb Gieber likes this possibility. Gieber said he is trying to get boys and girls golf added. According to the KSHSAA web site, the girls would compete in the fall, while the boys would play in the spring. Gieber said both teams would practice at Onaga, where Rock Creek practiced in the past when it had a golf team.
“I would like [a team] for next year,” Gieber said, but added that he was not sure if that would be possible since the school board has not begun to discuss the option of a golf team yet. Gieber said he planned to have a sign-up sheet for the team in the spring and take it to the board to see what its opinion is.
Athletic Director Scott Harshbarger said adding a golf team, though, is strictly rumor at this time.
“[We have] explored the possibility of adding [sports and activities], but we have no plans for right now,” Harshbarger said.
Schlochtermeier also voiced concerns for new activities.
“[There is] no room for it [and] no money I am guessing,” Schlochtermeier said.
For the next year, though, the board has approved a JV cheer team, which will have the same coach as the varsity team and will use existing uniforms. Harshbarger said the goal of doing this was to give more girls more opportunities, while keeping costs low.
“[The team] will cheer at home JV games to gain experience and practice to hopefully make varsity when they are older,” Harshbarger said.
Even if no other sports or activities are added, Dille and Schlochtermeier said they are happy with Rock Creek’s current extracurriculars, as there are some downsides to adding new sports.
“[There is] no room for others, [and students will] not focus on school work,” Schlochtermeier said.
Story and photo by Jacy Johnston, Staff Member