‘Aging out’ of sports creates the necessity to form new teams

As athletes progress through high school, many “age out” of their respective sports. This process can lead to the folding of teams through loss of interest.


Pulling flags…Locking down his receiver, junior Brogan Sullivan helps his team conquer their opponent.

The loss of interest that comes with progression through high school can make it harder to find a team to play for. Many sports players stop playing with their club team when they make a high school team, or conversely, stop playing their sport completely if they don’t make their school team.

According to sophomore Trevor Coates, it is not just the most popular sports like football and soccer this happens to.

“I play rugby, and our team has been losing players for about three years now,” Coates said. “A combination of injuries and interest has caused us to lose about five players from our team.”

Coates said that “if things don’t start looking up again,” his team will likely have to fold in the next few years.

Varsity soccer player Abdul Juma agrees and is part of a group of soccer players who have started their own team. 

“The hardest thing about moving to a new team,” Juma said, “is not knowing how the team [plays] or forming new connections with teammates.”

However Juma is excited to have “a fresh start” with his new team and teammates.

According to former soccer coach Edgardo Castaneda, creating one’s own team is not a stretch. In fact, Castaneda said that a team that is started by players is no less effective or likely to succeed, as long as there are more than one or two players behind the setup.

“You should first put together a good backbone of players that would help set up the team and assign a key task to each one of them,” Castaneda said, “Like looking for leagues that you are interested to play in, gather estimated costs, have a list of potential players to reach later and find fields available to practice on.”

Castaneda says that with this obvious commitment from several separate players, it will help show potential coaches that the players are serious about this team and make them more likely to commit to helping.

Long time club soccer player Sadman Sadad says that player-created teams can actually “have more drive” than other teams.

“It’s a team that has been created by the people that love the game and are really competitive,” Sadad said, “and that should make the team even more ready to play.”

SHYBA basketball player Michael Lengel also has found a slight loss of interest in his sport.

“I think [SHYBA] is pretty big in high school so I haven’t seen quite as much of it, but three members of my team that I have played with for years left after this past season,” Lengel said.

Lengel attempted briefly to set up a pickup-type league at a park near his house during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic but was unable to keep it going.

“I think I just didn’t commit enough,” Lengel said. “Maybe if I had really put the time in I could have got it going. We definitely had the interest.”

According to Castaneda, the most difficult part of starting a team isn’t finding players or generating interest, it’s keeping with the commitment that is most difficult.