Club sports challenge student athletes


Sophomore Jolie Holt plays for Classic Eagles Club in past off-seasons (Source: Jolie Holt)

Abigail Markley

The number of club sports available and the number of athletes participating has increased dramatically.
Club sports are a group made of athletes formed by an adult and these clubs usually compete with other club sports teams.
Club sports have been associated with money and, on average, high-end club teams easily can cost athletes $8,000 to $10,000, according to USA Today.
Senior Hanna Cripe has been playing club soccer for eight years. Currently, she plays for Freedom Soccer Club, which is located in Columbus, Ohio.
“Cost is definitely one of the main reasons people don’t play club sports. Personally, my mom makes sacrifices just so I can do what I love. Not every family is able to do the same. Club sports themselves are expensive, let alone travel and hotel costs,” Cripe said.
Junior Emily McGeorge has been playing club volleyball for nine years. She currently plays for Buckeye Volleyball Club of Columbus, Ohio.
“For club volleyball, we pay $4,000 which includes equipment, travel fees, participation fees, and uniforms,” McGeorge said.
Jeff Markley, president of Capital City Futbol Club, (CCFC), has been coaching for 16 years.
“CCFC is a non-profit organization established to provide a competitive and educational opportunity for the growth of young athletes. Being a non-profit organization means we are not attempting to make a profit from our program, but rather provide quality service to our community,” Markley said.
Senior Coleton Morr has been playing club baseball for nine years and is currently with the Olentangy Stix of Delaware, Ohio.
“Some people might have to play in worse [lower level] clubs just because they don’t have the funds to buy a $200 team backpack,” Morr said.
Some who play high school sports don’t play club due to money.
“I know club volleyball is super expensive, and I have talked to girls on the school volleyball team who don’t play club because it is too much money,” McGeorge said.
Money may be a large efactor, however, clubs are similar to a company.
“ I do think club is way too expensive. But it’s just like any other company, they’re trying to make money to keep it running. [However,] sometimes kids just want to play and have the opportunity to get exposure that club brings but sometimes it’s just too much money for some people,” Martin said.

Club sports are also a large time commitment for students. It is difficult for many to balance school and sports. On average, students spend around six and a half to seven hours a week devoted to club practice according to
“Club sports definitely take a lot of time away from school and studying, especially on weekends when traveling. Personally, some of my test grades or homework grades haven’t been as good as they could have been just because I didn’t have time to review due to club soccer,” Cripe said.
Time commitment also varies from sport to sport or between various clubs.
“Club volleyball has practice during the week [and tournaments on the weekends] rather than during the school week, which allows me to have more time to focus on school,” McGeorge said.
Mikayla Martin is a 2019 graduate from Westerville North and is currently playing college soccer for hampton University in Virginia.
“College is way more demanding than my club. If it’s not school then it’s soccer and vice versa. Club was less demanding because it was just training, traveling, and playing but in college we do all that plus attending meetings, film sessions, mandatory rehab, community service, and team activities,” Martin said.
Club sports often are linked to higher levels of competition and the increased possibility of participating in college athletics.
“I think that it depends on the sport and the division you play in but most the time club has a higher amount of skill and training due to the fact that a lot more time out of the year is devoted to club sports,” Cripe said.
McGeorge added “Club [sports] are higher [competition] because girls come from a lot of different schools rather than just one.”
High school and club sports are very diverse yet still allow athletes to play the sports they love and develop one’s skills.
“High school is a lot more team-oriented, where [as] club sports you are still apart of a team but you are [more] focused on your own personal development as an athlete,” Cripe said.

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