By Eileen Flynn ’20
High school is usually described as four years of your life spent learning and growing up. There is, however, a new trend for aspiring collegiate athletes. Some families decide to plan ahead for their children’s athletic careers and have them repeat a year of high school with the incentive of improving their skills in a specific sport.
Many people disagree with parents that allow this and accuse them of teaching their kids a bad life lesson— putting sports in front of school. I believe that high schoolers should be allowed to reclassify for several reasons.
First, just because a student is repeating a grade does not mean they are exempt from doing the work again. All student athletes are still required to complete the specific classes their high school offers for that grade. Athletes are typically busy, with practices after school, games, and additional training. Repeating a grade gives student athletes the opportunity to learn the material again and grow intellectually, while also improving athletically.
Sports often play a very important role for kids as they are growing up and it is an opportunity to learn important life lessons. If a parent decides to hold their child back to repeat a grade, who are we to try and stop him or her from gaining another year full of learning from these lessons in sports and in school?
Another reason high school students should be allowed to reclassify is because each child develops physically at different times. If a freshman has not yet hit his or her growth spurt, he or she still has to tryout against their classmates who have already reached their full height. Reclassifying gives students a fair opportunity to compete against their other classmates by giving their body the time to catch up with everyone else’s.
If student athletes are looking to play a sport in college, the recruiting process takes a long time. If students repeat a year in high school, this gives them more time to reach out and contact the scouting team from their desired schools. Students that repeat a year of school show they are committed to their sport and are willing to put in the extra work in school and in the sport.
One more year in high school should not be looked upon as a mistake, but rather as a chance for the student to gain an extra year to grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually.