Missing Sports & Clubs
February 18, 2015
Owatonna High School is one of the Big 9 schools that offer the most sports, academic clubs or other activities. However, there are some that OHS is missing: skiing, girls synchronized swimming, clay target, debate team and adapted sports of bowling, soccer and softball.
Then there are teams and clubs OHS once had but have no longer: dance team, one- act play competition team and competition cheerleading. Back in the 70’s, The Indianettes was the dance team of OHS. There has been a lot of talk going around about why Owatonna does not have one, being one of the five schools in the Big 9 that does not. Dance teams have been becoming more and more popular throughout Minnesota. Ryan Swanson, the athletic director, said, “Numbers dwindled to a point where it wasn’t financially sound to continue that activity.” There is also a survey that Swanson sends out every two to three years at the high school to receive the high school students opinions on activities and sports. Within the past surveys, students have not shown dance as an interest. Swanson is planning on doing another survey this year, and he said, “Numbers can change over the course of just two years, with a whole new set of kids coming in.” There is always the possibility of adding a dance team, but many factors contribute to adding another sport. Participation of the activity or sport is needed of the students, facilities to practice in, finances, coaching, and approval of the school board.
Within the last ten years, OHS has added boys and girls lacrosse and the robotics team. There has also been interest in adding more adapted teams like soccer, bowling and softball. The need of funding and finding the right coach are the main reasons to why we do not have these. This also goes for girls synchronized swimming. It is difficult to find a coach in such a specified area. As for alpine skiing, Owatonna just does not have the participants or the practice area. The one acts competitive theater team used to have a fall play, a musical, and then compete in the spring.
People decided they liked just doing the plays at school instead and since got rid of the team and added the spring play. A debate team just lacks popularity in the Big 9 and is often hard to find an advisor. OHS also had a competitive cheer team. This team did not go away because lack of participants, but more the lack of a solid coaching staff. There are also other teams that do not belong with the school but have a small partnership within the school like, the bowling team or, if OHS were to have one, a clay target team. Swanson said, “Owatonna looks for balance of activities, more quality in our activities rather than many activities and less quality.” OHS is filled with many opportunities in a variety of interests, but there is always room for change in activities or sports.