Time for a Change

High school transfer athletes in search for a better situation
Time for a Change

Every year, more and more high school students are seen transferring schools. Common reasons for transferring may be moving to a new area, finding a better educational situation, or even choosing schools that will better fit a family’s financial circumstances. But the newest trend for why students are transferring more often involves sports, a constantly ridiculed issue among schools all across the country.

It’s obvious that high school athletes want to strive to hopefully be the best and most successful in the sport they participate in. Some athletes even have dreams and aspirations of continuing their sport past high school and onto the next level. But a major factor that allows them to acquire the best opportunities for themselves is committing to the right school.

Kids entering high school are as young as 14 years old, and never really have the decision or knowledge required when it comes to choosing a school for the next 4 years of their academic and athletic career. It’s usually up to a student’s parents at the time to decide where they should be going and, in most cases, parents will choose a school that is close to their home and has good educational resources. In doing so, however, many look past the athletic scene at the school, which possibly places their child in an environment where they will not succeed athletically. For the parents that don’t focus on the athletic aspect of school rather than education, their kids can be seen placed in the wrong situation and ultimately makes their child’s high school career much more difficult than it should be. Like placing students in private and preparatory schools, for example. These schools are drastically different from a typical high school, involving environments and resources that can be difficult for students to be comfortable with and thereby doesn’t allow students to have a normal high school experience. But even students themselves choose the wrong schools due to their lack of knowledge, judgment, and maturity, simply because of how young they are. Kids going into high school are always wanting to go to somewhere with the best record, athletes, or gear, and are always looking past the aspects of high school that are much more important than solely sports.

It’s become apparent that being at the right school for high school athletes is extremely important, which is why more students are transferring schools in search for a better environment and situation. Two of our own students here at Enochs High School, Johnny Staggs and Mason Galvan, are prime examples of common high school transfer athletes.

Some may judge them on their decision to transfer because they presume that it was purely based on sports and not education. That is clearly not the case for both students. Staggs states that, as compared to his last school, he “transferred mainly because of the academic ratings at Enochs”, and for Galvan it was for, “both school and basketball.” Many people scorn the fact that so many high school athletes are transferring every year because they think it’s wrong for students to do it just for getting on a better sports team. However, in the case of Staggs and Galvan, they are also wanting to gain the best opportunities when it comes to education and they are being mature enough to acknowledge the balance of being a successful student athlete. 

But the process and consequences to transfer schools is not the easiest thing for high school athletes. Because of all the rules of being able to transfer, Galvan expresses that it was “a little stressful at times” when it comes to moving schools. The California Interscholastic Confederation (CIF) has strict regulations on the eligibility of newly transferred students. An immediate example being that transfer athletes must sit out from their sport for a certain period of time. The CIF made this a rule to possibly motivate students to not transfer schools for sports because, if they do, they will not be able to participate in athletics at all. Staggs says he, “[doesn’t] like the rule”, and that he believes, “it takes a chunk out of your high school experience.” Adding onto what Staggs said, it seems unfortunate that high school athletes who really want to just find a better opportunity for themselves have to deal with sitting out. This is a constant theme and issue when it comes to high school transfers, making it even more difficult for students across the state and country to become successful in the athletic situation they are in. 

But even after all judgment and obstacles, a transfer may go through. Staggs emphasizes that, “if you don’t like your situation for any reason you should leave before it’s too late and you live with regret.” No matter what anyone else thinks or how hard things may be, it’s always important for one to find the best situation that will give them the best chances at being successful. No one should have to regret 4 very important years of their lives, so taking the opportunity that will be the best for you is the most important aspect of transferring schools.

For all high school student athletes, it’s important to place yourself in the environment and system best fit for you because, at the end of the day, we are all trying to be the best versions of ourselves and being in the right place will allow us to achieve this goal.

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