Hand in the dirt

Jarrale Daniels, Staff Writer

Hand in the dirt: Joliet West varsity football athletic performance (AP)

The 2014-2015 school year ushers in many new changes. There have been recent additions also in the athletic section of Joliet West. One of the beneficiaries of the betterment in the department is the Varsity Football Team. We have gotten the pleasure of having brand new yellow jerseys which are well deserved. Also, the football team have finally received an opportunity to play Friday nights, under our own lights. However the most recent topic, an all football athletic performance (AP) class has caused a cluster of critics but also a stir of supporters.

Some student athletes have voiced their opinions about the class. They have different thoughts about how the class should be offered or handled.

Varsity volleyball player, Haylie Clement, voiced her own personal opinion. “It’d be different if each sport got their own class together but we don’t and that’s why it’s unfair,” said Clement on the class. When asked what should be done, she responded by saying, “If they plan on continuing the whole football AP, other sports should be together too.”

Senior softball player, Simone Carroll comments on the topic at hand. She understands why the class is being run but also says, “I think if they switched off sport’s ability to have 8th period gym per semester and year would be more equal.” She also added, “That way all sports can have that advantage.”

Senior Brittany Schutter says, “The class should be a reward earned by the sports team with the best record.” Schutter plays volleyball and is on the track team for the school.

Amy Koerner, a senior at Joliet West who plays volleyball spoke for this article. “I get that football is the only team big enough to have its own class but why not combine multiple sports that use similar skills and muscle groups to better prepare those athletes for his or her sport.”

Three football players that are currently in the all football class voiced their opinion.

Senior, Richard Dove, an offensive right guard at Joliet West, spoke of the benefits of the class. “It allows us to get stronger as a team and allows to make sure everyone on the team is working hard,” says Dove, “It helps us by bringing all football players closer.” He also believes the time can be used wisely to watch film or teach instead of wasting our practice time like in years before.

Senior Ethan Bohanek, starting center for Joliet West had comments on how the class will aid the team. “It will help us get closer and get better,” Bohanek put simply. “We also have the opportunity to leave early to start football practice.” Ethan also believes that the class is making big steps to accredit our football program. “We need to take steps to make our program better in the future and this is a big plus for us.”

Mitch Dolak, senior quarterback for the Tigers was also interviewed. I think that the class will help the team bond more and it gives us a chance to work out together. I feel that we are no more deserving of this class than any other sports team, we are just lucky and fortunate enough that Coach Aubry was able to get this class together for us,” says Dolak

A leading cause to the football only oriented class, offered eighth period exclusively, is Varsity Coach, Jason Aubry. “It’s going to have great benefits for the team,” says Aubry when asked about the benefits of the class. Aubry has been wanting to do something like this for a long time during the four years of existence the athletic performance class has been at West. “We want to make sure everyone gets their lift in.” Aubry will be the head of the class and ensure that his athletes do the right things to make the program better.

Aubry collaborated with one of the assistant principals of scheduling to try the class out. It is a piloted program, meaning that it is not set in for next year or the years to come, but it is just an experiment to see if it should be kept. The program has also seen changes like Friday night games and new uniforms.

All in all, the class plans to have extreme benefits to better the entire team as a whole. Also, the class is a huge step in making the program more accountable and respected not only in Joliet West, but also in the Joliet community. Support your Joliet West Tigers August 29th in the first game of the season at Tinley Park High School, and see their hard work pay off!