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Atomic City Update: All sports should be treated equal by high schools

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By Phil Scherer

Here in Los Alamos, we do a great job of treating every sport equally and making sure the young men and women at the high school have a nice and memorable experience. Throughout my time in New Mexico, almost every school has been that way, and I have had a great time traveling around the state going to different events.

That’s why it was so disappointing to see that Taos High School doesn’t treat every sport the same. When I went to a girl’s basketball game there Wednesday night, it was shocking.

A couple weeks ago, I was in Taos for a boy’s basketball game, and the atmosphere was electric. The entire band was there, and they played the national anthem as well as songs throughout the game. The cheerleaders formed two full rows on one of the baselines. The Knights of Columbus presented the colors prior to the game. The PA system was so loud and enthusiastic I wouldn’t be surprised if people could hear it all the way here in Los Alamos. The game was on the radio and streamed on YouTube. It was perhaps the best atmosphere I have seen all year.

I was expecting the same type of experience this week, but it was not there. There was no band. There were no cheerleaders. There was no PA announcer. The game was not on local radio or on TV. In fact, when we called Taos High School to tell them we were coming to cover the game for the newspaper and on the radio, Taos’ athletic director seemed shocked. It was as if she had never considered that anyone gives girls’ basketball a second thought.

I had previously wondered why many of the Taos girls’ sports were struggling so much this year, but I got a pretty good idea seeing the type of support they are given. The boys are treated like conquering warriors, while the girls are treated like an afterthought. It’s really not fair. Imagine being one of those girls. I can’t imagine how hard that is. They work just as hard as the boys’ basketball team, but get no recognition.

And the issue goes beyond just the school. Taos’ radio station will not cover any of the girls’ games. Earlier this year, both teams were at the Hope Christian Tournament. The station covered every boys’ game, but skipped the girls’ games, despite already being on site.

Quite a few times during Wednesday’s game, Taos fans approached the KRSN radio table and asked what station the game was on. They were excited to be able to tell people who weren’t at the game that they could listen, because they had never been able to listen to a girls’ basketball game on the radio before.

That tells me that the Taos community is interested in the sport, even if the school is not.

I want every high school athlete to enjoy their experience, and also feel like they are doing a good job representing their school, as well as their community.

I would like to say that the Taos girls are great representatives of their community, even if the school won’t acknowledge that.