NHS girls’ sports are in need of recruitment

As the new school year begins, so does the fall season for Naugatuck High School sports. While the boys are preparing to dominate on the field and trail, the girls are struggling to find athletes to participate. 

Since the Class of 2022 graduated and moved on to the next chapter of their lives, the girl’s teams have been left with large shoes to fill. 

In Cross Country, 5 runners need to cross the finish line in order to score in a meet. Unfortunately, our female runners have just enough to score. If one runner falls ill or gets injured, the girls are unable to score and automatically lose that meet. This leaves a substantial amount of pressure on the athletes to, not only run well but simply finish the race. 

In a way, this makes our team a lot closer. We are constantly checking on each to make sure everyone is healthy. Running through cramps, sometimes pushing through a sickness. It’s a lot of pressure. Upcoming freshmen will be a crucial part of their team next year. As they lose their only senior next year, this puts their team at great risk.

Over the summer, the girl’s soccer team also struggled to create a full roster of 11 players. They successfully recruited new talent but are low in numbers when it comes to substitutions. They have three substitutes, but also need bodies to retrieve balls at their home games. Seniors Sophia DeFilippo, Rana Aljamal, Aubrey Deller, Lauren Sonski, Thalia Jardim, and Serene Parker lead the soccer team this year. With the decrease in numbers in the Naugatuck Youth Soccer league, the team is not certain they will have a sufficient number of athletes for their team next year.

Lastly, our girl’s swim team is fighting to enroll more swimmers on their team. In a meet, the CIAC allows you to compete in 4 events maximum. With 14 girls on their team, getting swimmers in every event can be a challenge. Captains Leticia DoNascimento, Lauren Litke, and Ayana Williams guide the swimmers this season. 

“We always go into the meet with confidence to win each of our events and try for a best time no matter who we’re up against,” Senior captain, Leticia DoNascimento said. “Even though this year has been a little bit of a dry spell, I’m confident the size of the team next year will increase by about 7 swimmers.”

After talking to Mr. Mariano about the disparity in women’s sports, he had a lot to say about what teams can start doing to increase their athletes next year. “I think one of the best plans is for coaches and athletes to host clinics for younger athletes in the community. I also think our teams should get out more in the community to make connections with younger athletes and their families. If students get interested at a younger age it is more likely they will come out for a sport in high school.” 

Mr. Marino also added that hiring more female coaches may attract more women to our sports teams, however not many female coaches apply for jobs at our school.

All teams and coaches are planning the futures of their teams. High school sports are very important to a lot of women in Naugatuck and crucial to a lot of athletes’ futures. Most teams are still accepting athletes! If you are interested in any sports team please contact the coaches or any players.