The Meet Sports

Brian Foisy, Staff Writer

At Kennebunk High School, there are a few must-see sports throughout the year. There’s usually only one in a season, and their fan sections become somewhat of a hangout, where if you weren’t there you’ve missed something.

The most prominent example of this is at home football games. These games, like most across the country, are the big social event of the week. Everyone’s there. If you’re not there, it’s usually to make a statement. The minority group here are the people who purposely miss home football games. They’re usually the type of person who says: I don’t get sports or I have better things to do, but they really have nothing better going on. The party goes on without them and the next morning as they’re scrolling through Snapchat stories they feel an overwhelming sense of FOMO.

Or in the past tense, it’s something like DISHG: Dagnabbit, I Should Have Gone

There are sports here at Kennebunk that don’t get afforded the luxury of people making a defiant stance not to attend a game – nobody cares to go in the first place. Some of our best teams with some of our best athletes lack a physical fan presence.

At swim meets this year, Ella Yentsch swam to a non-existent fan section. It’s nothing against her or the team at large. She’s been named the best female swimmer in her conference. But let’s be honest, who wants to go to a swim meet? The few events are spread across several hours, there’s no mascot, and the room they play in is basically a sauna.

My older brother Ben, during his high school and middle school athletic career, played for all of the meet sports – swim, track, and cross country. The three most exciting sports EVER. Because I love him or whatever, I went to a good number of meets a year, mainly the home ones. And I will tell you; they are some of the most boring hours I’ve had to endure.

At meets like these, over three hours, possibly four things happened. At a cross country meet, Ben ran by where I was standing. That was it for three hours. At a swim meet, Ben dove into the water in the relay. Done for three hours. At a track meet, Ben threw a big rock or something. All that happened in three hours.

But I appreciated his effort and the effort of those on the team. He was also just as bored as I am. Depending on what events you do in these sports, you may only do one or two things the whole three hours of the meet. Which means you have to make those few minutes you compete for matter. It’s an incredibly tricky endeavor, because if you spend all of the meet stressing out over how it’ll go down, you run the risk of psyching yourself out.

The players on the swim, cross country, and track teams are some of the most committed and dedicated athletes we have at Kennebunk. That doesn’t diminish, however, that the sports they play are incredibly dull.

It begs the question, do you even need excitement and fever pitch fandom to be a successful team? Maybe the frills of a coach bus and a parade out of school distracts the team from the task at hand. We’ve all seen how well that’s worked in the past when the whole world stops for you as you’re close to winning. Isn’t there something to be said about the underappreciated athlete who just goes out there and gets it done?

In non-meet sports like football, basketball, and hockey you can get run down and thus have to have more endurance. However, those same sports where you’re always on the court, the field, or the ice can be more expendable. You have a multitude of opportunities to get it right. With the meet sports, you have one moment to get it right.

Join me in appreciating these ‘boring,’ ‘unattractive,’ and ‘unnoticed’ teams. So maybe this track season, we get a fan section going for this year’s home meet on May 14th. I’ll see you there.

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