Minor leagues don’t hinder passion

Quinn Hughes, Opinions Editor

Major professional sports leagues such as the MLB, WNBA, NFL and MLS all generate massive support from young athletes, inspiring people to play the sport and pursue it as a career.

However, students that play water polo, volleyball, rugby or any other sport that is underrepresented at the professional scene in America do not have the same experience with their sport as star football players do.

Girls’ volleyball captain Elizabeth Knoll ’15 for example does not plan on pursuing volleyball in college.

“I think if volleyball was more popular on the professional level than it would give current and future players the aspiration to get to that elite level,” Knoll said.

Cole Moyer ’16, a member of the boys’ water polo team, a sport that lacks a popular professional league, takes a more nonchalant approach. He says he most likely will not play the sport after high school aside from a recreational or club team.

However, there is some debate as to the level of importance professional leagues have in influencing young athletes. Noah Yokoi ’16, entering his third year of Staples baseball, said he does not “play baseball because of the publicity it gets.”

Rachel Seideman ’17 also doubts the importance of a professional league.

“The WNBA hasn’t influenced me really at all. I’ve always loved basketball,” she said.

As a sophomore on varsity girls’ basketball, she is still deciding whether or not to take the sport to the collegiate level.

Some are told their time playing is done, some lose their passion for the game, but when it comes to sports like volleyball and water polo there is the practical aspect. Without a professional league the likelihood of making a good living off of the sport compared to the MLB where the lowest salary in the league, is $507,500, is very slim.

For CJ Stephan ’16, another member of the baseball team, money is not the motive for playing the game.

“I simply play baseball because I love the game, and salaries are not what’s on my mind when I’m on the diamond.”

There is a multitude of considerations that come into the minds of players when choosing when to end their athletic careers. Yokoi stated, “I think everybody reaches a day when they are told to quit the game. But for some it’s earlier or later than others.”