OPINION: Ladyjacks prove themselves worthy of support

Deanna Swindell, Sports Editor

There was a lot of success for the Ladyjacks at SFA in the last year. I’m not saying that the men’s teams didn’t have any success because they did, but the support the Ladyjacks received compared to the men’s teams was too low.

Allow me to explain. The Ladyjacks volleyball team went undefeated throughout the entire 2018 Southland Conference season and had a 32-3 overall record. They were also in the first round of the NCAA tournament where they faced the University of Texas. The bowling team won the NCAA national title for the second time in program history.

Soccer was also able to make it to the final of the SLC tournament against Abilene Christian University. The Ladyjack track team won the indoor SLC Championship and sent several athletes who competed and placed in the outdoor NCAA tournament.

Although the Ladyjacks have proved their dominance in the conference, the stigma that female sports aren’t as exciting as male sports still exists. Not surprising, the attendance for the Ladyjacks basketball games as significantly lower, even for doubleheaders at William R. Johnson Coliseum.

In the final season game in which both teams played against rival Sam Houston State University, the game attendance for the Ladyjacks was 3,611 while the Lumberjacks had 5,464. In those games, the Ladyjacks dominated the Bearkats in overtime and outscored them 10-2. The Lumberjacks had a slight redemption from their meetup earlier in the season but were unable to keep up their momentum in the second half and lost 68-57.

I’m not going to lie, when I first watched the Ladyjacks basketball team—which I watched online—I did not think they were as exciting to was as the men’s team. When I went to a live game, I was proved wrong.

But if I had to choose a team that I had the most fun writing about, it would have to be the volleyball team. The volleyball games were some of the most exciting games I ever went to. Covering the games, I was not supposed to cheer, but the team made that difficult because by the end of the game I was up on my feet with the rest of the crowd.

The volleyball team does get a lot of supporters who fill up Shelton Gym. But a Southland Conference winning team deserves a bigger gym to play in and a lot more people coming out to the games. The same goes for the bowling team who were not only SLC Champions but National Champions. Some of the SFA community did not even know that the bowling team existed even when there was coverage on them.

As a sports fan, I love to keep up with as many sports as possible. I think it is also important for students, especially incoming freshmen and transfers, to know about our sports and support them. It’s also a way for students to be involved, spend time with other students, or even as a stress reliever or a break from their studies.

This column was not to say that the men’s teams are not deserving of your support because they are. It was to say that the Ladyjacks have as much athleticism and put in as much work and effort. All teams proudly represent SFA and continue to be great student athletes.

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