Sports Stereotypes: The Movies Aren’t Right This Time Around

By Christina Vitakis

Tayah Christian sits with fellow cross country runner Juliet Rayer during lunch.

In every high school movie, there’s always cliques, especially when it comes to athletes. The football players are often seen gathered in groups, throwing a football to the other members of the football team. Nearby, sit the basketball players, a basketball always under someone’s arm, ready for a quick game with their friends at any given moment. It is human nature to surround oneself with people that share common interests, however, movies often depict these athletes as an exclusive group that hold themselves far above the standards of other ordinary students. Although North Royalton High School does contain athletes that surround themselves with one another, this depiction of the common athlete does not hold truth at all.

Tayah Christian, a junior at NRHS and also a member of the track team, stated, “I think we do have sports cliques at our school, but they’re a lot more inclusive than in the movies.”

Even though NRHS does have some form of sports cliques, this is not the only thing tying together the players and teammates. Rather, these people tend to surround themselves with one another as they enjoy each other’s company and are genuinely friends first and foremost. “I’m friends with the friends I have because they support me and make me laugh. I just enjoy being with them and going through life with them,” said Celine Akouri, a sophomore and volleyball player. Playing sports together is just an added bonus.

Still, in every single movie, the athletes are always surrounded by other athletes, and there’s a valid reason for that. “I think most people in high school are friends with people who are in the same clubs or sports as they are, and that’s how they got to know each other,” stated Nathan Rush, a senior on the cross country team. “A lot of the close friends I have now I became close with during the cross country season, but I also have other close friends that I’ve known for a while because I’ve had classes with them since middle school.”

On some level, students hang out with whomever they’re surrounded by. However, that is not the sole motivation between plenty of friendships in our school. Paul Twarog, a junior and member of the wrestling team, said, “I’m friends with people because they are good, kind, caring people who try to be nice to me and others. I try to be friends with people who I enjoy being around and don’t make me or others feel bad about themselves.”

Though Troy Bolton is constantly surrounded by his basketball buddies and other close friends, this is not reality at NRHS. Maybe a player might shoot a hoop or two with his teammates after school, however, do not expect for members of the sports teams to be the only ones there.

“There are a few cliques in our school, you could say, and they are just generally really good friends,” stated Twarog. “They really are usually in a bunch of classes together and get pretty close with one another.”

Although there might be a few cliques scattered throughout the school, they are not as exclusive as the movies, and one should definitely not expect athletes to only be surrounded by other athletes at NRHS. Rather, NRHS contains a diverse group of people. Both Twarog and Akouri, although involved in sports, also sing in show choir.

These students are not contained by limits or by stereotypes, instead, these athletes surround themselves with the people they enjoy being around and that share common interests.

Christina Vitakis

Christina Vitakis is a junior currently studying at North Royalton High School. She’s a member of yearbook club, student council, drama club, International Thespian Society, Key Club, and volunteers as publicity manager for the school’s plays. She also has a part-time job at Michael’s Arts and Craft Store. Despite maintaining (and whining about) a busy schedule, she spends her spare time hanging out with her friends and reading. She also has a soft spot for poetry, puns, and photography. She hopes to find a career in advertising after graduating college.