Jacks and the Jill: Why Timber Team Needs Female Players

Since the school’s inception, Woodland has boasted an illustrious and prominent history of female-driven sports teams, both as separate divisions and in mixed-gender competitions. From the Girl’s Swim Teamwinning the 2017 Naugatuck Valley League (NVL) Championship, to the Volleyball team winning a state title in 2013; the athletic program continues to sport an eclectic array of skillful athletes of all sexes. Yet, one particular department yearns to diversify and expand it’s player roster to include far more females into the mix: Timber Team.

Still a somewhat fresh addition to the Woodland sports lineup, Timber Team continues to be an atypical and unique sporting option for the aspiring Woodland athlete, inviting those who wouldn’t normally participate in athletic clubs.

“I really did nothing with sports during my entire high school career,” admits Jill Plante, a prominent member of the team. “I always wanted to do sports, but I didn’t wanna work out. Timber Team was a way for me to do that.” Players such as Plante have pioneered an entire program into existence with only one other school in the league.

The nature of this competing school, Wamogo, complicates the competitive situation for Woodland athletes.

“The majority of Wamogo’s team is females, so we’ve been getting crushed in all the female events,” says Plante. Indeed, Woodland’s roster is lacking a balance between male and female players. This discrepancy becomes problematic in all-female events, as well as the “Jack and Jill” events, in which both sexes compete to throw axes, saw wood, and roll logs.

For a brief period of time, Plante was quite literally the only female player bearing the black and gold. While other talented females have joined since then, it would be beneficial for the number to increase.

In response to this dilemma, Robert Murdy, head coach of the team, and his players have heavily pushed their program to the female demographic, mentioning the need for these players in every mention of signing up on the morning announcements. Plante herself personally vouches for the healthy social environment and community of the team for the female athlete.

“I met some of my best friends on timber team. They’re some of the best guys I’ve ever met. I still talk to them now even though (some of them are) in college.”

“I am very excited for the future of the program,” Plante concludes.

With Coach Murdy leading the way, Timber Team is hopeful to recruit even more “Jills” to the player base.

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