Athletics builds strong social media presence

We scroll through popular social media platforms in order to catch up on the lives of others and to stay up to date with the world. Within the endless pictures and updates from friends and family are posts from the Brookline Athletics’ accounts.


An Instagram post by the athletics department. According to some, these posts and others help excite the school community about athletics and school spirit.

Jillian Goldstein, Staff Writer

We scroll through popular social media platforms in order to catch up on the lives of others and to stay up to date with the world. Within the endless pictures and updates from friends and family are posts from the Brookline Athletics’ accounts.

The Brookline Athletics accounts on Twitter and Instagram create a new purpose for the time we spend online: building a community. 

Assistant Athletics Director Kyle Williams and Athletics Director Pete Rittenburg, who both run the Instagram and the Twitter accounts, said they work hard to produce fun, interesting, community boosting and appropriate content for the accounts.

“For Instagram, the idea behind it is community building so people know about all of the awesome things that we have going on in athletics,” Williams said. “It’s to celebrate the little things and give a picture of what it means to be a Brookline High School athlete. The Twitter is more sort of our communication tool. It’s live time; we might do score reporting, we might announce a bus change or a game change. Again, it’s community building. It’s trying to let people know what’s going on, when it’s happening and trying to get people excited about being a Brookline High School student athlete.”

For many students, the results of these goals can be seen clearly. Junior Natasha Rinnig said that the accounts boost morale and are great sources for updates.

“I think it’s school spirit, seeing it,” Rinnig said. “I know at BHS you don’t necessarily know what’s going on with all of the teams, so before your friend tells you, to see on Twitter ‘this is the score’ and to get updates as you’re going along. If you can’t necessarily go, it’s like you’re sort of there.”

Sophomore Isabelle Cotney feels as though the accounts are a great way to learn about what is happening in her peers’ lives.

“When I saw pictures on there, I found out that people were on a lot more sports teams than what I knew about, so it’s a good way to find out where everyone else is at,” Cotney said.

According to Williams, he aims to use unique ways to get people interested in what school spirit oriented things he is putting online. Many of his fun posts also have meaning behind them, allowing followers to relate to others in the school community.

“We reached out to teachers and coaches to get pictures of them when they were playing sports in high school or when they were younger,” Williams said. “We did it as a teacher ‘Throwback Thursday,’ again to try to get students and teachers to realize that teachers were in high school once and they probably tended to balance athletics and academics, and then also to get teachers more involved in seeing what’s on the Twitter and Instagram accounts, just to show that our students are doing a lot and spending a lot of time and energy in doing those things.”

Williams feels that although it is possible that each sport at the high school hasn’t received exactly the same amount of coverage on the accounts, he tries his best to recognize the talent in each athletic team.

“I try to get exposure for everyone,” Williams said. “By the nature of our job responsibilities, we have to spend more time with certain sports, so we might have more things for those sports, but again I try to generate a graphic or an image for things I can’t get to. I’m always, always welcoming of other people’s submissions that I can use to help promote all of our athletes.”

According to Rinnig, the process of getting featured on the Brookline Athletics accounts was simple and not a huge process.

“For volleyball, I know people showed it to Kyle, or sent it to Kyle, so they submitted it,” Rinnig said. “And for gymnastics, he sometimes drove the bus for us, so he would watch us at our practices or at our competitions, so we would tell him to post it.”

The world of social media has its benefits and its drawbacks, but according to Williams, he tries to use it to his advantage in order to send out positivity into the high school’s community.

“Mr. Rittenburg and I work hard to use social media in a way that demonstrates how various platforms can be used positively and appropriately to tell a story, deliver a message and build a community,” Williams said. “Often, the social world is filled with hot takes, negativity and no regard for the lasting impact words and images have on others. We cannot hope to prevent student use of social media, nor should we, so BHS Athletics’ presence on social media can help demonstrate that you can get a loyal following, supporters and popularity by building up your own brand rather than bringing down those around you.”