By Taft Gantt’ 20
For most people, success in sports is defined by wins and losses, and that is especially true here at Woodberry. Woodberry takes pride in its sports and has done so for 130 years. The 1890 Tigers’ baseball team, composed of students and teachers, was led by Joseph Goss Walker, who said, “Even then the catchers would get their fingers hurt, usually just a knuckle knocked out of joint, but often a finger broken.” Woodberry has always been known for its athletics success, but recently many different Tiger squads have been struggling against schools who have started recruiting. Woodberry should recruit for sports, with restrictions, to better the vibe of the school and restore the habit of winning.
Recently, Woodberry has been struggling in certain sports that it used to be dominant in. Teams are struggling against schools up north, like Episcopal, who recently has been notorious for recruiting boys from wherever they can get them. The Tigers have lost to the Maroon the past two years in football, and, although it is not the only way for success, recruiting would significantly help the Tigers change the recent narrative.
Woodberry should recruit for sports because it would better the vibe of the school. Winning has a direct effect on the overall mood of the school. Successful athletic programs would build successful relationships both for players and fans. The dining hall conversations would be more upbeat, talking about the undefeated football team. If Woodberry was able to recruit, it would begin to see more success in athletics, which in turn would improve the overall vibe of the school.
Woodberry should recruit for sports, but it should do so with restrictions. To be at Woodberry, you need to be a Woodberry boy. For that to happen, the recruiting process should involve an interview. If he isn’t a fit and doesn’t seem up to the challenge, that’s too bad– there are many other boys who would love the opportunity. Another requirement to be recruited at Woodberry is effort level, both on and off the field. No matter how smart or athletic you are, Woodberry gives you the opportunity to succeed. If a boy shows his potential in an interview and proves his work ethic, he should be recruited to come to Woodberry.
At the end of the day, the recruiting question comes down to the simple question: “How much success do we want to have?” For most boys at Woodberry that answer is easy, and for that hope to come true, recruiting needs to happen at Woodberry.