By: Ammaar Rehman
Dedication, practice, and teamwork are the cornerstones of success in high school sports.
For the JV football team, these values were tested at the beginning of their season, as Howard County’s issues with bus availability had left players struggling to maintain their competitive edge.
Players, like freshman Liam Dunlop, said the challenges and frustrations of not being able to initially play weighed heavily on the team.
"The problems with the buses have affected me and the team negatively because through weeks of practice we were only met with an email saying that they couldn't provide transportation and that our game was canceled,” Dunlop said. “Our team started almost expecting the JV games to get canceled, and not only were the players mad about it, but so were the coaches. They put in their valuable time to coach us for the upcoming games, only for it to be canceled.”
All total, the team was forced to cancel its first three games of the season.
One of the core tenets of sportsmanship is the anticipation and excitement of game day. Athletes dedicate countless hours to training, honing their skills, and building camaraderie with their teammates, all in preparation for on-field moments. However, Dunlop said the uncertainty that surrounded bus availability had overshadowed their practices.
"Our team started almost expecting the JV games to get canceled," Dunlop said.
This feeling of anticipation had detrimental effects on team morale and motivation, according to Dunlop, and the excitement accompanying the prospect of competition had been replaced by anxiety and disappointment. When games were canceled due to bus issues, it not only robbed the players of an opportunity to showcase their hard work but also added to their growing frustration.
The consequences of the lack of bus availability extends beyond the players to the coaching staff. Coaches invest their valuable time and expertise into mentoring and training the team for upcoming games. However, their efforts are often in vain when games are canceled at the last moment.
"They put in their valuable time to coach us for the upcoming games, only for it to be canceled, " Dunlop said. Coaches, too, share in the disappointment as they see their efforts go unrewarded due to external circumstances beyond their control.
In high school sports, every game canceled means missed opportunities for growth, learning, and showcasing the talent and dedication of young athletes. Bus availability issues hinder the development of the JV football team and erode the spirit and enthusiasm that should be at the heart of every sporting endeavor.
The challenges with bus availability had cast a cloud of uncertainty and disappointment over the JV football team. Nonetheless, the school administration and the transportation department have worked diligently to find a solution to this issue. Bus availability problems have been resolved, and the JV football team can now look forward to a future free from the frustrations of bus-related cancellations. For these players like Dunlop, the dream of playing and competing is no longer deferred, and they can once again experience the joy of sports without impediments.