Underrated sports at Staples By hannah Bolandian '19 and MADDIE PHELPS '19

While the winter wind chills the town of Westport, hundreds of high school students are sweating it out indoors as the winter sports season is reaching its peak. Basketball games in particular are known to pack students into the gym to beat the frigid winter temperatures. Still, it seems to many as if Staples lacks other sports to watch in the midst of these cold months. Several other winter sports teams, however, work relentlessly towards a perfect season, but seem to receive far less attention than they deserve.

Wrestling is one of many underrated winter sports at Staples. The wrestling team consists of over 20 boys, but still has a low turnout at their matches. Their record for the season so far is 4-7. With Staples having a fairly small team, if they do not have a wrestler for a certain weight category, then they have to forfeit the match. The wrestlers put in the same amount of work with practices every day. “I think there is great potential for this sport in our school,” JC Montoni ’19 said, “but I feel that many kids are hesitant to come out and give it a try.”

Just like wrestling, the Staples gymnastic girls are hitting the mats with tricks and routines throughout the winter. Anastazia Perry ’19, a member of the girls’ team at Staples, has been doing since she was merely in preschool, and claimed that gymnastics is a “very complicated and interesting sport to watch and to understand.” Despite this, she stated that she feels as if the sport is underrated, as its viewership is rather minimal and many aren’t looking to become a part of the team. “I think people should participate in gymnastics,” Perry said, “Because it provides many different ways to get in shape, as well as learning how to do new skills.”

Chandler O'Reardon '17 flips through the air during last year's season.
Anastazia Perry '19 during gymnastics season.

While wrestling and gymnastics are relatively well-known sports outside of school, Staples also offers sports like squash that some students don’t even know exists. “I would say that [squash is] underrated because we're in one of the largest and most competitive high school leagues in the country,” Alex Gold ’18, varsity squash captain, said. While squash is not funded by Staples, it is still considered to be one of its varsity sports.

The Staples boys' squash team in their 2016-2017 season.

Squash is offered to both boys and girls. Practices run Monday through Friday at Intensity Fitness Center, and matches are held on any day of the week. Squash is open to anyone and everyone who has an interest or wants to try it. “We have different kinds of people on the team, both experienced and not experienced,” Leigha Dear ’19 said. “It’s also a really independent sport since you play matches by yourself...you really have to hold yourself accountable for your mistakes and focus on what you need to work on most.”

The Staples girls' squash team poses for a team picture during their 2016-2017 season.

Tags: sports, wrestling, squash, gymnastics, underrated

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