Northfield High School to Have Smartest, Least Athletic Sports Teams

smart unathletic teamsNorthfield High School continues to prepare for its inaugural year next fall. Teachers and administrators are being hired, and of course, construction on the building continues to take place. School officials are also working hard to make sure there are clubs and activities for the freshman class. One of the biggest challenges for a new school is integrating an athletics department. “We have been in discussions with community leaders and interested parties, and we think we have a good idea of how we are going to move forward with appropriately incorporating athletic programs,” says school official Dan Bell. “We are eventually going to struggle with lack of space, but right now, we are focusing on getting kids committed to play for Northfield, and getting them quality coaches, etc.” Local resident Bob Fitzpatrick has some concerns about academic requirements for students who are going to play athletics. According to Principal Tropper, students must maintain a 2.8 GPA to compete in athletics at Northfield High School. The Colorado High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, much lower than what Northfield High School is proposing. “Northfield is already supposed to be more challenging than other high schools,” says Fitzpatrick. “And now we are going to make it significantly more difficult to keep kids eligible for our sports teams? I don’t know if the administrators are looking at the potential snowball effects of this type of requirement.” Fitzpatrick says that strong sports teams create pride in a school, helping sell more apparel, higher attendance at events, and better fundraising. “Not having quality sports programs absolutely trickles down to the academics of a high school,” says Fitzpatrick. “Not to mention, for many students, no matter the socioeconomic background, athletics is the single most important part of their high school experience. We shouldn’t be making it harder for students to enjoy that experience. I’m not saying the GPA can’t be moved a little, but increasing the required GPA by 40% is a little aggressive.” Local coach Matt Hellman agrees. “We are trying to create a diverse school,” says Hellman. “We want to give opportunities to kids from anywhere who are interested to come to Northfield High School. For many reasons, not every kid receives the same support and structure at home. If a kid is working his tail off and is getting a 2.75, are we going to suspend the star running back? That seems a little unfair.” Hellman says that the policy also may feed into the elitist stereotype Stapleton already suffers. “If we are trying to let people know that anyone is welcome in Stapleton schools, regardless of race or socioeconomic background, throwing out a high GPA to push people away doesn’t seem right.” Finally, Hellman says that just like in athletics, in academics, we are not all created equal. “Imagine if we didn’t allow kids to go to school if they couldn’t make five of ten free throws, run a 5.0 forty yard dash, or if they didn’t have a 24 inch vertical. We would lose a lot of students. Well, not everyone is born to have a 2.8 GPA either. I understand that most all of students are not going to be a part of organized athletics after high school, but for some, that may be the way they are able to go to college, and for many others, sports may be what keeps them focused to the best of their ability to stay in school and graduate from high school. The policy needs to be changed.” *Editor’s comment: The Stapletonion feels strongly that Northfield High School needs to rethink this policy. If you agree, and/or have other thoughts on this matter, please email us at, and we will make sure your comments are forwarded to the appropriate folks at Northfield High School. ]]>

One Comment

  1. I for one am happy to see our school prioritize academics over sports. It’s rare to see. Sports are there to serve education, not the other way around like you see in most schools.

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