Audric Gupton ’20
Editor’s Note: This article is the first article in the second part of a seven part series of opinion articles written by Dr. Erb’s English class for publication in The Oracle. Each article will have a “response” written by another student in the class.
Since the recent recruiting scandal in universities such as Stanford and UCLA, my family has had diverging opinions revolving around academic schools and their decisions to recruit athletes. After long debates and thorough visualizing what makes Woodberry great, the pro-recruitment side became the obvious choice. Recruited athletes have the opportunity to highlight Woodberry’s strengths: adaptability to support each student, high levels of school spirit, and the cultivation of honor and character.
A Posse Ad Esse. Translated to “from possibility to actuality”, WFS’ motto sets clear expectations for the school’s vision. All possibilities will be met with the proper amount of attention to allow for a student to make his dream an actuality. Though most students will sacrifice time into their academics while at Woodberry, many can invest their time much more efficiently into possibilities that they love and are talented at. Academic success is only one of many that will get you far in life. We must remember that the word “possibility” does not exclusively represent academics, but rather all forms of opportunities. Success derives from inherited talent and passion, so why not allow these qualified athletes to succeed? Athletic possibility should weigh as much as any other possibility at Woodberry Forest School.
Woodberry’s spirit encourages a healthy environment for the school, and it derives from athletics. During pep rallies, the student body show their appreciation for the football team and its athletes. Winning athletic events helps boost the school spirit, influencing many positives. An online poll conducted by Harris Poll on 1,016 highschool students produced positive information on school spirit and its effect at school. The research concluded that students with higher amounts of school spirit were more likely to support the school’s administration, had better GPAs (3.5 compared to 3.2), and had parents that believed their child was ambitious and motivated (70% compared to 49%). Recruited athletes have the possibility to play a sport they feel passionate about and fuel the school’s spirit.
Woodberry’s strict education that cultivates honor and character are unique and essential for the school’s success. The boys at Woodberry are challenged the most on the field. Athletic events allow for athletes to subdue their passions and emotions for honor and character. It’s when we sing “Amici” against Episcopal, win or lose, that parents look on in pride. When you can hear the swimmers and divers shouting for hours, encouraging not only each other but other athletes, that is when the outside world appreciates our character. Each team contributes towards the school’s respected image. It’s the recruited athletes that will make the right call during a tennis match or a soccer game. Recruited athletes have the possibility to show their character and honor to the outside world, and respect the lessons Woodberry has raised inside of each and every one of us.
Woodberry should recruit for sports because recruits should have the possibility to make their goals an actuality. Recruits can cultivate school spirit that helps the community and they can act in an honorable fashion that promotes Woodberry and its ultimate goal for honor and character.
The views expressed in this article do not, in any way, represent the views of the editorial board, our faculty adviser, Mr. Guldin, nor the opinion of The Oracle as a whole.