Banner size limits display of recent success


Nick Cloney

New banners have not ben hung in the Schluntz Gymnasium since 2002. In addition to banners, there is a trophy room above and in front of the gymnasium that highlights the high school’s sports teams’ achievements.

Nick Cloney, Staff Writer

The high school is often seen as focused exclusively on academics, without producing particularly strong sports teams.  But this belief is nothing more than a myth. In fact, it almost couldn’t be further from the truth.

The sports teams have actually had so much success that there isn’t enough room to hang up any more banners in the Schluntz Gymnasium.

According to Assistant Athletic Director Kyle Williams, even though the most recent banners hanging in the gym are over a decade old, the school’s teams have continued their success.

“It’s not that we haven’t won anything since 2002, it’s just that we had done well in the past and the walls were full.  Because of the way the league banners were created, they were relatively inefficient in terms of the space they take up,” Williams said.

Williams also pointed out that the success is both widespread and prevalent among the school’s various teams.

“Just from looking out {into the gym} from here, you’ll see that we were Bay State Conference champions in basketball, football and indoor track,” Williams said.  “And then there are also some state championships that are listed there as well. And just in the past couple of falls we’ve had a bunch of league champions.”

According to Senior Quinn Gangadharan, a track and cross country captain, the running teams at the high school have also done well in competition in recent years.

“Our teams are pretty good and have always been pretty good at long-distance and mid-distance running.  Our cross country team has lost maybe three of the 44 dual meets since I started here, even though we barely have any bigger guys,” Gangadharan said.

Athletic Director Pete Rittenburg said that the banners are not the only awards that the various teams have earned.

“It depends what organization is providing the hardware.  For example, the MIAA tends to give trophies for either sectionals, regionals or nationals.  And you would either be, say, sectional finalist or sectional champion. And the Bay State Conference was the one giving out the banners,” Rittenburg said.

Williams said that the formatting of the banners might eventually be changed to display more titles and use space more efficiently.

“Mr. Rittenburg and I have talked about consolidating banners like you might see at other schools, where each sport gets one banner, and then there’s a section for league champs, state champs, district champs and all that,” Williams said.

According to Rittenburg, most students don’t comprehend the sheer volume of awards and memorabilia that the school’s teams have collected.

“We really do have trophies all over the place.  There are some in the main lobby, some here in the AD’s office, some in the stairways. I don’t think that people have a sense of quite how many there actually are because they’re so spread out,” Rittenburg said.

However, Gangadharan said that many awards, particularly individual medals that aren’t for first place, are not seen as important indicators of athletic success.

“Honestly no one really cares about the hardware,” Gangadharan said.  “Since all of this sport is in the times, it doesn’t take a shiny object to know we did well. We can see for ourselves. The medals and trophies for us are more of an afterthought or a formality.”