Starting this year, students from TIDE Academy can try out and play sports for M-A. Established in 2019, TIDE is a small charter high school in the District with only 143 students in grades 9-12.

Athletic Director Paul Snow said, “The teams at TIDE were very small and they struggled to put full squads together in some team sports. We already allow students from Middle College and Independent Study to play at M-A, so why not open it to TIDE students, too?”

TIDE senior Trevor Gawle said, “I feel like the lack of TIDE sports was very pathetic because while everyone was going to be able to play for their individual high schools, I had to sit at home or practice by myself. I feel like it wasn’t a fair opportunity for us at TIDE to not be able to represent our school by playing sports.”

M-A has taken steps to accommodate these new sports players. Snow said, “We have also started two new freshmen soccer teams because of this new partnership with TIDE. This is a win-win for everyone in my eyes.”

Nonetheless, this policy change brings about some questions for how it will affect team dynamics.

Sophomore Aliyah Chowdhary-Fitton, who is on the M-A dance team, said, “I’m a little worried because there’s just more teamwork that’s going to have to happen—and it’s people from different backgrounds and different groups of people. So it will be interesting to see how that plays into team dynamics.”

Chowdhary-Fitton continued, “I think there may be a little bit more competition, because there’s going to be more people vying for the same spot. There’s only so many spots for the team, so there’s going to be more people at tryouts and more people cut.”

Former cross-country runner and senior Walden Hoddie added, “I think it changes varsity sports because there is a possibility that some M-A athlete will be pushed out by a TIDE kid, which could cause a little bit of a divide. But it’s unclear because we’re in the same district and we’re similar people.”

Snow said, “It won’t make much of a difference in M-A athletes’ opportunities to play, just because there aren’t a ton of kids from either TIDE, Middle College, or Independent Study that are interested in playing a sport. Everyone still has to try out, though, and we take on the best based on their ability, not their grade level or where they attend classes.”

Regardless, players and coaches from both schools are optimistic about this policy.

Freshman Ava Jannink, who is on the M-A diving team, commented, “I think that’s a pretty good idea. They’re students who don’t have the option to do a school sport, and it’s always nice to have options. If anything, playing with TIDE students could help M-A if they have good athletes there. At least for the sport that I do, diving, there’s barely anyone on the team, so if there happens to be a diver at TIDE, then it would be a pretty good opportunity for us.”

Snow said, “I’m hopeful that this will go great. We’re opening up the opportunity to play sports to more kids, and that’s a good thing.” 

“I feel like this change is super important for the students of TIDE and I think it’s great to combine sports programs of two schools in order to create a better experience for both schools,” added Gawle. “I heard that I would be playing for M-A last year, but this plan was just now put into action. Although it is very late, I am happy that I get to play and participate in my senior year.”

Lindsay Park is a sophomore and in her first year in journalism. She is interested in writing about psychology and current events. In her free time, Lindsay likes to hang out with friends, play oboe, and draw.

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