Do Student Athletes Receive Enough Recognition?


Casey McKeever, Staff Writer

Student-athletes take pride in balancing their athletic achievements with academic drive. The Scituate High School athletics program produces high-performing athletes who pursue opportunities to compete at the collegiate level. While in high school, many student-athletes also strive to achieve personal or record-setting goals. 

The SHS girls lacrosse captain, senior Charlotte Spaulding, achieved her 100th goal in lacrosse during her junior season. Spaulding was given the game ball for this achievement; she also received numerous congratulations from friends, family, and teammates. According to Spaulding, making her 100th goal was a very memorable moment that she will never forget. As Spaulding continues her athletic and academic career at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., this accomplishment will motivate her for many lacrosse seasons to come. 

Making a 100th goal or 1000th point is clearly impressive. In fact, a banner recognizing SHS athletes who are members of the 1000th point club hangs in the large gym. Senior basketball captain Grace McNamara recently scored her 1000th point, and her name will be added to this banner.

Some student-athletes argue there should also be a banner recognizing outstanding milestones or notable athletic achievements. For example, Class of 2022 alum Hayley McCarthy was one of the few female athletes in the history of the SHS girls’ hockey program to score 100 goals. Unfortunately, without a banner that displays McCarthy’s achievement, many people in the school community will never know about her contribution to the program. McCarthy commented, “Being a part of the girls’ hockey program, I honestly wasn’t expecting to be recognized a lot.” Nevertheless, McCarthy takes pride in being a team player, sending a message to current SHS athletes: “Always be a team player–no matter what.” McCarthy added, “Even when the games get hard, it’s important to never give up and try your hardest because it is the only way you can get better.”

SHS Assistant Athletic Director Chris Alves and Athletic Director Scott Paine recognize the need for more student-athlete recognition. Alves stated, “We strongly agree that milestones should be recognized with some sort of banner, and we are a bit upset that it is only recognized by basketball with the 1000-point banner.” Paine and Alves said they are “working on changing” the current athlete recognition banners. 

Ultimate frisbee coach and SHS history teacher Andrew Roberts has developed a system to recognize team members’ personal achievements: Creating a document titled, “Ultimate Frisbee Team Statistics,” Roberts posts the names of athletes, the highest career points scored, career assists thrown, and career scores received. This document also includes single-season results. Roberts’ efforts promote a positive spirit among the ultimate frisbee athletes.

As the SHS athletic directors continue to explore how to recognize student-athletes equitably and appropriately, Hayley McCarthy shared her vision for Scituate athletics: “It’s important that both coaches and the school recognize these achievements because it pushes athletes to perform the best they can.”