SPORTS: Students share their thoughts on the ‘Everybody wins’ concept

After a sports game is over, one team wins, the other loses. In some cases, both the winning team and the losing team are presented with trophies or medals, as participation trophies and the “everybody wins” concept has been around for years. Some SCHS athletes believe there are more negatives than positives around rewarding athletes for their participation regardless of the final score or outcome.

Senior Nicholas Loforti has been playing baseball since he was young. He believes participation trophies are not a problem in youth sports and for younger athletes.

“When you’re little, I feel like it’s okay and everything because everybody’s a team player. You don’t really know what you’re doing playing sports,” Loforti said.

Loforti believes that getting participation trophies at an early age gives youth athletes significant praise and encouragement, and he still has his participation trophies today.

“I’ve kept all the participation trophies I’ve gotten. I know looking back at it I was so happy,” Loforti said. “I’d come home and put it up on my shelf in my room, and just look at it like ‘Wow, I did that.’ or it gave me a huge confidence boost when I was little.”

Junior Madison Calvillo plays tennis and is on the Spirit Squad. She likes that those who work the hardest get recognized more.

“Just feeling good about yourself and feeling confident in the sport you play and wanting to keep doing it, striving to be better. You want to try harder so you can get recognized,” Calvillo said.

As athletes grow, however, Loforti believes that trophies should be limited to certain players on the losing team rather than the entire team.

“As you get older, I think they should start to cut it out. Maybe give the trophies to the MVP of the team, or the person that’s come the longest way,” Loforti said.

Like Loforti, senior Carson Muench, who plays track and football, also sees the flaws in the idea of the “everybody wins” concept, but acknowledged some of the benefits of participation trophies, especially when distributed to athletes when they are younger.

“Participation trophies I think have some benefit,” Muench said.“You can look back, and it’s like memorabilia or something to remember your time as a little kid.”

Despite believing participation trophies are great as a kid, like Loforti, Muench realized they are not necessary as athletes grow up.

“I think that you should be rewarded for winning, and then if everyone gets the same trophy, then it’s a problem. But if the trophies are significantly different, then I don’t think there’s a problem with it,” Muench said.

Loforti is on the side of playing to win and not playing just for a trophy.

“Obviously when you play, you play to win no matter what the prize is. For example, we (the SCHS varsity boys baseball team) were playing against randoms and we beat them,’” Loforti said. “You don’t get a prize out of it. It’s just that you get that good feeling that ‘Okay we just won, We just beat the other team.”

Muench feels the same and cares more about the experience than the trophy.

“I’m glad that I got some participation trophies, so I can keep them for keepsake items and look back and remember those times,” Muench said. “But I definitely would rather have a championship trophy.”