By Veronica Moscariello and Jeffrey Varesio
Football. Track and field. Soccer. Volleyball. Baseball. Dance. When asked to think of the many sports offered at Woodland, these few and more may come to mind. What most students don’t know, however, is that sports such as wrestling, lacrosse, and field hockey are also offered by the Naugatuck Valley League. Because Woodland Regional High School has not been able to give students the opportunity to participate in these sports, students may not be aware of the many other teams that could be established.
The NVL offers not only the sports offered at Woodland, but also fosters boys and girls lacrosse, girls field hockey, gymnastics, boys ice hockey, boy’s volleyball, and wrestling. Unfortunately, Woodland has not been able to give many students the option to engage in these activities for the reason that the school only allows 3 individual athletes per sport to play on other teams within the NVL.
In the Beacon Falls/Prospect community,the chance to play these sports in athletes earlier stages of childhood were slim. For this reason, students gravitated towards larger sports that were offered instead of searching for another town or community which provided other options.
“It can’t just be at a high school level, but if it starts here, eventually other coaches will come in and see that there is some interest here at Woodland,” said Kenan Collins, a history teacher at Woodland.
Carly Erickson, a Woodland sophomore, played Lacrosse for a team other than Woodland since it is a sport Woodland does not currently offer.
“Since me, my brother and my sister all wanted to play, the only leagues we could find for all of us were in Wolcott and Watertown,” said Erickson.
Like Erikson, Prospect/Beacon Falls athletes who desire to play lacrosse would have to travel towns over to participate. Many young athletes may not be aware that this was one of the sports that they had the ability to play.
In order to add a sports team to Woodland, the athlete that desires to start the team must first find a suitable coach, recruit athletes to play on the team, then receive a hearing from the Board of Education in order to get funding for the sport. If the BOE approves of the team, the sport must then be registered into the NVL and Connecticut Interscholastic Academic Conference rosters.
New sports being offered to the students of Woodland could have a tremendous impact on the wide variety of student-athletes at Woodland.
“It has to start somewhere,” said Collins.