Success of fall teams goes unappreciated



The boys cross country team races against Walpole and Norwood on Oct. 7, 2015. According to Triedman, the lack of fans at cross country meets is disheartening.

Evan Marohn, Staff Writer

The runners cross the finish line one by one, exhausted and out of breath.  As the scorer records their places and times, it is clear that Brookline has won again, adding one more “W” to their impressive record.  Despite this impressive achievement, they receive no more than a few scattered cheers from the parents and teammates lining the course.

Despite having the two best records of any of the high school’s fall sports teams this season, boys cross country and girls swim and dive garnered some of the smallest spectator turnouts.

Boys cross country continued on a long run of successful seasons in 2015.  They finished 6th at All-States after grinding their way to a 9-2 regular season record.  Girls swim and dive also experienced a very successful fall, finishing the regular season 10-2 and coming 5th at All-States.

Senior cross country captain Hal Triedman said he was disappointed with the amount of recognition his team got despite their success.

“Nobody shows up except for parents,” Triedman said. “It’s a very disheartening thing.”

The boys cross-country team begins the 5000 meters at All-States. The team placed sixth overall at the meet. Provided by Charles Klein.
The boys cross-country team begins the 5000 meters at All-States. Members of the cross country see a lack of a support at their races. Provided by Charles Klein.

Junior Courtney Carroll, a member of the girls swim and dive team, said that the supporters at the team’s meets also consisted mostly of parents and close friends.  According to Carroll, some opposing teams managed to attract significantly more spectators. Despite her disappointment, though, she understands why the team gets less recognition.

“A lot of people say it’s boring to watch, and some people don’t understand what’s going on,” Carroll said. “They don’t want to watch something where they don’t know what’s happening.”

The boys soccer team was another of the high school’s most successful teams during the fall season, finishing with a record of 11-3-3 and making it to North Sectional semifinals.

According to junior Zach Knopf, the team was rewarded for their success with larger fan turnouts and recognition by the Superfan club.  

“When we had games at Northeastern or BU, we would have 50 to 60 kids,” Knopf said.  “On a bigger stage there was a bigger turnout.”

Senior Matija Jankovic, who ran on the boys cross country team, said he understands people’s tendency to gravitate toward watching other sports.

“There’s not the same allure of a basketball player shooting three-pointers,” Jankovic said. “We’re just a bunch of skinny guys running on a course.”

According to Triedman, cross country is not a particularly spectator-friendly sport, which often drives people away.  He said that the large amounts of space that the sport requires makes it difficult to enjoy as a spectator.

“If you’re a spectator, what ends up happening is you see the start, then you probably go and run somewhere by the mile, and you see the mile, and then you go and run somewhere 2 and a half miles in and you see that, then you run and try to see the finish,” Triedman said. “So in reality you’re maybe getting like 10 minutes of cheering in a 15 minute race, and that’s it.”

There’s not the same allure of a basketball player shooting three-pointers. We’re just a bunch of skinny guys running on a course.”

— Matija Jankovic

Knopf said that soccer is appealing to spectators, as it is a fast-paced game that people love to watch.  He also said that the boys soccer team tends to perform better in front of large crowds, despite the distraction caused by the added noise.

“I think we play better when we see that people are watching,” Knopf said.  “In our playoff game we won 3-0 and a whole crowd was watching and we took advantage of that.”