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Parents, players concerned high school is playing favorites with sports schedules

Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 19:29:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A sports scheduling conflict is prompting some West High parents and players to speak out.

“It’s an inconvenience for everyone, parents aren’t able to attend, some students aren’t able to attend,” Mia Antley, a West High student said.

Some West High School parents and student reached out to FOX 13 for help after they say the school isn’t playing fair and putting the boys schedule before the girls. The complaints come after a last-minute scheduling change for a Girls Varsity Soccer playoff game.

“All of my teammates have put in so much work so we can be here and it kind of sucks we have to miss such an important part of our school year to go and play in an important part of our sports year,” said Maura Agee, team captain of the West High girls varsity soccer team.

Mid-Monday, girls on the West High Varsity Soccer Team found out their game was being moved earlier to accommodate Boys Junior Varsity Football.

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“Varsity comes before JV in my opinion, and in most others’ opinions, it doesn’t make any sense why they would do that so it’s more inequality between genders,” said Antley.

Assistant Principal Sarah Thomas tells FOX 13 it has nothing to do with gender.

“We’re excited for our girls to be a part of a state tournament game and we recognize that is during football season and so that takes some negotiating," Thomas said.

She says the rival, Fremont, has earned the higher ranking, so they get to host. And they only have one usable field.

“The field situation they are navigating is not up to us, they are hosting us,” Thomas, explained.

The school also says the football season schedule has been established since May, but the soccer brackets were finalized when region games ended. They say because football has had a set date, they take precedence.

With an earlier game, the girls will have to miss some class.

“They are excused for a school sponsored event, and they will be held harmless,” said Sarah Thomas, Assistant Principal of West High School.

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Assistant Principal Sarah Thomas says they can work with their teachers to make up any work they miss. But these students say it’s not that simple.

Mia has a group project that she will now have to do alone, so she can play in the game.

“Basically, if she goes to the game, she’s going to have to do extra work on her own to make up for that. If it were a boy’s event, I think they would have made extra accommodations for this,” said David Antley, Mia's dad voiced.

He says he’s reached out to the teacher and the principal, but he hasn’t heard back yet.

“And I think it’s just the message that it sends to our daughters in 2021, that even though they’ve worked hard, they’ve done everything they can do all season to make it into the playoffs, they’ve had a winning season for the first time in I don’t know how many years… But they are still playing second field to boys in our community,” Antley said.

FOX 13 will continue to follow this story for any updates on if the schedule changes. For now, that game is scheduled for Thursday at 2pm.