The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Tide’s work on equitable sports coverage is essential to promoting all teams

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Shelby Roth
Football is the most covered sport by The Tide as it accounts for 21.3 percent of sports coverage.

The Tide covers many student interests, from the arts to politics and sports. However, since the end of the pandemic, 2021-2023, The Tide has not equitably covered all Rocket sports teams.  

Since 2021, football and boys’ basketball have dominated online sports coverage; however, on the low end, field hockey, tennis, and softball make up 1.3 percent of coverage. Each sport, collectively, has been covered once in the span of three seasons. This is detrimental to those teams’ growth and school identity as it creates a sense of disinterest and isolation from the student body. 

Unsurprisingly, football makes up the majority of coverage as it dominates the fall season. And there are no calls to lessen the coverage; football makes up a significant piece of culture at RM. However, it is essential still to have supplemental coverage of the other fall sports. The Tide’s combined soccer coverage accounts for 17.6 percent of sports coverage, which reflects the sport’s interest and popularity as it is the most watched sport in the world.  

Another factor influencing the consistency of soccer coverage is primarily due to the recent success of the varsity boys’ and girls’ teams. However, it is the reality that only some teams will come away with historic seasons. Even so, all teams still deserve to receive coverage. Teams’ little victories can make for moving stories and features. Every sports team here at RM has unique and exciting stories, but it is on The Tide as journalists to find them.

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MCPS athletics offers a wide variety of varsity sports though some of them are not as popular as others. Sports like field hockey and tennis have a lot of global attention however they are not popular on the regional, high school level. Field hockey is the third most viewed sport in the world, however, it is tied for last place in terms of coverage. There isn’t the same engagement for sports like field hockey and softball at RM which leads to those teams struggling to field full teams each season. However, The Tide can play a crucial role in helping those sports gain more community engagement. By advertising and championing the success of those respective teams, more students will be encouraged to learn about the sport. And for the teams, they will feel encouraged to continue to improve as they receive support from their peers.

The Tide strives to reflect the student body and interests, however, in efforts to affirm this commitment, there is work to be done to expand the sports coverage to improve equity. By doing so, The Tide will play a pivotal role in leveling the playing field while celebrating all Rocket athletes. The impact of expanding coverage has been seen through the work of the Rocket Center which has highlighted teams throughout the 2023-2024 seasons.

I was the sports editor for The Tide during the 2022-2023 school year. From that experience, I understand the unique challenges associated with leading that section such as conflicting game schedules and the sheer number of teams. Writers typically gravitate more towards covering football and basketball games as they are the “flashier” sports with more exciting coverage opportunities. The sports section is one of the most viewed sections on The Tide and because of this, it is challenging to balance creating engaging content for the readers while also providing opportunities to spotlight every team. At the same time as a female athlete, I deeply understand the frustrations associated with feeling like your team is not getting recognition. It is important to balance these two perspectives to produce a section that reflects what sparks readers’ interests while also thinking about what best represents the student body at RM.

If you would like to voice your opinion on an issue you feel is relevant to our community, please do so here. Anyone is able and welcome to submit a Letter to the Editor, regardless of journalistic experience or writing skills. Submissions will be published either online or in a print issue.

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About the Contributor
Shelby Roth, Opinions Editor
Junior Shelby Roth is excited to start her third year on the Tide, this time as opinions editor. She has previously written for the news section, and has edited for sports. She is currently the news editor for The MocoStudent and is the sports editor for The Amplifier. In her free time, you can find her playing field hockey or reading.