Do It For Ranger Pride

Caroline Kuiper

More stories from Caroline Kuiper

“Who cares?”

The words that every coach dreads, but inevitably hears, during their time with exasperated athletes; whether it be a hard practice, a losing record, or simply no will to go on, everyone reaches a point where they want to give up. And in the world of sports, everyone knows who gives up first: the ones with no one to compete for outside of their own team.

One might think that I’m going to spend this article talking about how all sports should be covered equally and all students need to go out of their way to make all undercovered sports and their athletes feel loved. In all fairness, that would be pretty nice. I can’t argue that those athletes wouldn’t feel some extra push from having some outside support, and I can’t argue that since everyone puts equal effort into their sports, they deserve the same pat on the back. I can, however, argue something else. As a nine-year swimmer and three-year rower, I am no stranger to sports which receive little attention. In my entire high school career, I have competed in exactly one swim meet with a student section and regattas which average one visitor every seven hours, if the weather and race times are enjoyable for them. So why am I okay with all of the work and none of the attention?

Because I am a Ranger.

In today’s world, teenagers especially tend to thrive off of recognition. Posting a selfie on Instagram to get that certain number of likes in order to make them feel pretty or handsome. Tweeting something entertaining so that the retweets and favorites will pile up. It only makes sense that we would also want to feel appreciated from the work we do in sports. But while that may be nice, it doesn’t give us an excuse to dwell on it or use it as an excuse. We lesser-known athletes shouldn’t want to compete only to be recognized. No athlete should, really. We should want to work hard for our team and our school. And most of all, we should work for Ranger pride, that embodiment of true selflessness towards your team and your sport, no matter how much recognition you get for doing it.

What does it matter if some sports have student sections? There will be teams who have a packed crowd full of fans but go out and disappoint them all, and there will be teams who work to achieve amazing things while no one turns a head. I know which team I’d rather be a part of, and it should be the one everyone decides on as well. Even if an entire school doesn’t seem to care, the Ranger always comes first. True athletes understand that competing is rarely done for the attention, but for those teammates who become family and, namely, Ranger pride. Don’t do what you do for the likes. Do what you do because you are a Ranger.

So, in response to that inevitable ‘who cares?’: you should.