In the first article, Jesse Wood’s “App State’s Rich Soccer Tradition…Was the Golden Era Pushed to the Wayside?” explains that, before coach Vaugh Christian took over the App State men’s soccer team in 1971, they were doing very poorly, mostly due to the fact that soccer in the United States and especially the High Country was incredibly uncommon, and that the university owned the only soccer goals in the entirety of Boone. After his relentless recruiting from outside of the nearby vicinity of the university, he brought the team to much success, recruited numerous star players, and won multiple SoCon championships. Then, coach Hank Steinbrecher came and gave the university its first NCAA playoff win, but left because App started to cut back on its soccer program in favor of more high-revenue sports. The club continued to be great in the 1980s, but once the 90s arrived the club was no longer as supported by the university, with as little soccer scholarships as possible. This is an example of sports history being important, because without it, it would be very easy to forget the heights of the team from the 70s and 80s and the stories of human excellence and perseverance.
If the soccer club being less supported over the years wasn’t sad enough, the article by Ethan Joyce entitled “Former App State coaches, players come to terms with the cutting of their programs” showcases a lot of how App State’s priorities are on sports. Due to less funding from the coronavirus, the men’s soccer team, among others, were cut from this year’s funding. It’s unfortunate, because the teams that were cut gave students scholarships, and many students rely on scholarships to afford college, which means that the university can give less scholarships this year and pocket more cash right now and into the future if the teams aren’t reinstated.
The final article by Lars Dzikus, which was written when sports were much more up-in-the-air, talks about how the absence of sports affects society, and how sports brings people together. It allows people to feel less depressed, feel a sense of belonging, and be brought together during times of crisis. With actual sports being harder to do (with the NBA’s bubble being an exception), esports are becoming more commonplace, attempting to fill the void that many other sports fans feel. NASCAR was very easily able to adapt, allowing its racers to compete virtually. Here’s to hoping that actual sports can continue to happen today without disease-related interference, at least so that people can watch from home.