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The Demon Tattler

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The Demon Tattler

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Locker Room Unfairness: A Soccer Player’s POV

Locker+Room+Unfairness%3A+A+Soccer+Players+POV

As a student-athlete at Santa Fe High, I have felt that certain athletic programs are given unfair preference. Why do the soccer players, track runners, tennis players and wrestlers have to lug their equipment around all day while the football, basketball and volleyball athletes have locker rooms where they can store their stuff? Change needs to happen to allow a place for all student athletes to change clothes and leave their gear.

When I traveled with my teammates on the JV soccer team to play at Los Alamos and we were given a locker room, I realized that there was locker room unfairness here at SFHS. We all walked into the Los Alamos locker room and were in awe as most of us had never had the opportunity to be in a locker room for a soccer game. We were using the Los Alamos away locker room, used for away athletes when they play at Sullivan Field.

This made me wonder why Santa Fe High doesn’t share our locker rooms when the soccer team or tennis team has a home game. If Demon sports teams shared locker rooms, it would allow the players to get changed in a locker room instead of having to change in a rush on the bus, or on the bleachers when they reach the field.

One of the advocates for locker rooms for all athletes is Coach Graham, the track and cross country coach who also teaches biology and astronomy.

“It’s unfair,” Mr. Graham said, “I think it is a spacing issue for having locker rooms.” Mr. Graham, who has been coaching here since 1992, recalls there being locker rooms in place of the classrooms currently in the gymnasium. Mr. Graham said because there are no locker rooms, he allows his runners to leave their stuff in his room in the morning and change in his office in the gym.  

If Santa Fe High built a fieldhouse, athletes could leave equipment in locker rooms and not lug bags around. It would also allow teams a place to change instead of using the ROTC building or changing in cars. Lastly, it would allow a place where the teams could wait while their JV or varsity counterparts are playing.

Louann Padilla, Santa Fe High’s Athletic Assistant Director, says that locker rooms are always available to change in. For example, if the soccer team wanted to use the basketball locker room, the coach could ask the basketball coach (when not in season) whether the locker room was open and available for use. Once the soccer coach got the okay, the soccer team could use the locker room.

Ms. Padilla explained that since there are 14 varsity teams at Santa Fe High, locker room availability can be limited, but the “coaches are willing and welcoming” to allow teams to use their lockers when they aren’t using them.

Demon Tattler staff counted the lockers in the gym to see how feasible this idea was: The total was 209 lockers.

According to Maxpreps.com, the 14 varsity teams have this many players/runners on their rosters:

Baseball- 19

Softball- 16

Basketball- 14

Girls Basketball- 14

Boys and Girls Cross Country- 27

Boys Soccer- 21

Girls Soccer- 21

Boys and Girls Swimming- 18

Football- 85

Boys and Girls Golf- 12

Boys and Girls Wrestling- 12

Boys and Girls track- 70 

Boys Tennis- 9 

Girls Tennis- 8

This list totals 346 varsity team members. Of course, this does not include all the JV and C-team athletes. Clearly, the 209 lockers are not enough to allow all athletes to have lockers at all times. (And it should be noted that since the swim team practices elsewhere, they probably don’t need lockers at school.) 

Beckham Sayer, a player on the varsity boys soccer team, thinks this is unfair. “I think the soccer team is one of the most unappreciated sports teams at Santa Fe High, and we deserve to have a locker room.” He added, “While traveling to go play at other high schools, I saw that many of them have nice locker rooms for the teams to use and have nice fields…. We won state in 2021, and made it to the semi finals in 2022. I don’t know what more the soccer team has to do to show that we deserve a locker room and better equipment to train and play with.”

Marco Salazar, a player on the varsity boys tennis team, said, “I have to arrive in tennis clothes and leave with them, so a locker room or just a changing area would be nice. If I am at school, I have to change in one of the bathroom stalls, and they aren’t clean or accommodating at all.”

The school really doesn’t want any athlete to go without access to a locker room. The truth is it is just a custom for the teams that have lockers to have them, and some customs are hard to change.

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