Right now, Yale athletics is blessed with elite teams in its highest profile sports.
Take a look at men’s basketball, where the Bulldogs earned three votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll after running their school-record Ivy start to 8–0. On the ice, the men’s hockey team is now ranked No. 8 in the country and has won five consecutive games, in addition to having the best defender-goaltender combination in the country with Rob O’Gara ’16 and Alex Lyon ’17. And football head coach Tony Reno has established something of an Ivy League recruiting dynasty to assist a program that’s on an upward trend.
But it’s too easy to focus on these clubs and lose sight of the other 32 varsity teams at this school.
I know this from serving as sports editor of this very newspaper. I know this as a columnist. And I know this as an avid Yale sports fan (now that I’m not a reporter or editor, I can openly admit that!).
We should celebrate all Yale sports, not just the ones that receive national attention.
Ever been to a squash match? If not, you’re in for a treat — the Brady Squash Center plays host to two top-five teams, including the No. 2 men’s team that just clinched the Ivy League championship with a rousing victory over Harvard.
There are 89 athletes on the men’s and women’s track and field teams right now, and five of them set school records just in the past three weeks. The next big competition — the Ivy League Heptagonals on Feb. 27 and 28 — could see even more records fall, and this is all before the spring season gets underway next month.
And of course, the women’s swimming and diving team just swept through the conference, swimming laps around its competition all season en route to a perfect Ivy record. The Elis’ regular season culminated in a victory at HYP, the first time in almost two decades.
There are so many teams that don’t get the attention they deserve. Every Yale student-athlete pours hours into his or her sport every single day and still manages to get those papers and p-sets done. Yet it’s so easy for us to focus on the high-profile sports at the expense of everything else.
I’m not saying to boycott sports like basketball or hockey. The upcoming hoops game against Princeton figures to go a long way in determining the Ancient Eight title, and there’s nothing like the atmosphere at Ingalls Rink, with 3,500 screaming fans in perhaps the most beautiful rink in the country. It’s truly a sight to behold.
But wouldn’t it be something if we filled Coxe Cage with the same enthusiasm? What if Yale Field, which has played host to American legends like Babe Ruth and George H. W. Bush ’48, was standing room only? Or if the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center could echo with cheers and chants?
We’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a plethora of talented peers who just so happen to also represent the Blue and White on the fields. It’s high time we go out and support them.
Grant Bronsdon is a senior in Ezra Stiles College and former Sports Editor for the News. Contact him at email@example.com .