• Counselor Talks @ Auditorium Mon-Tues
  • Boys Soccer vs. Senior (V/ JV / JV2) 04:30 p.m. @ Clark Stadium Girls JV2 Soccer vs. Lake Highlands 04:30 p.m. @ Kimbrough
  • Girls Basketball vs. Marcus (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @Plano East Girls Soccer vs. Lake Highlands (JV / V) 06:00 p.m. / 07:30 @ Kimbrough
  • Boys Basketball vs. Marcus (JV / V) 06:15 p.m. / 07:45 @Marcus H.S. Wrestling: Senior Night 06:00 p.m. @ Plano East
  • Band Winter Concert 07:00 p.m. @ Auditorium
  • Academic Decathlon Regionals All Day
  • Speech & Debate Tournament All Day @ Flower Mound Boys Soccer vs. Hebron (V/ JV / JV2) 04:30 p.m. @ Kimbrough Girls Soccer vs. Hebron (JV / JV2 / V) 04:30 p.m. @ Hebron Boys Basketball vs. Lewisville (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @ Plano East Girls Basketball vs. Lewisville (JV / V) 05:30 p.m. / 07:00 @ Lewisville Academic Decathlon Regionals All Day Speech & Debate Tournament All Day @Flower Mound Computer Science Contest 07:00 a.m. @ B1 Military Ball 05:30 p.m. @ Holiday Inn
The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

The News Source of Plano East Senior High School

Panther Prints

Unseen Victories

Brooke Dion

In the shadow of prominent UIL sports such as football, basketball and volleyball, the quiet achievements of lesser-known extracurricular clubs often go unnoticed as the seasons progress. It’s easy to get lost in the long list of sports schools can provide, but there is a clear distinction between UIL and extracurricular club sports that is not as easily understood.

“All of the sports that we have on our website listed under sports are sports that are governed by UIL, the University Interscholastic League,” Associate Principal Robert Eppler said. “They are the ones that determine what sports fall under their umbrella for coordination and supervision. We have nothing to do with it; it’s just UIL.”

UIL is an organization that oversees almost all athletic, musical and academic competitions for public primary and secondary schools in Texas. UIL exists to organize and prepare students for competitions. Through student involvement in school sports and Interscholastic competitions, they can expand their leadership skills in athletic environments. To take a sport to the club level, there are boxes that need to be checked. When a club does not go through the steps on the PISD website labeled “How to Start a Club”, the school can not provide them with resources such as funding or equipment for the sport.

“To get any recognition with us, they would have to fill out a form to become a non-curricular club,” Eppler said. “Right now, I would not be able to post anything about [a sport] If they have a team and have not completed the requirements.”

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It is the role of Plano ISD to determine what student organizations get approved as extracurricular club sports. To maintain balance within extracurricular clubs, the U.S. Department of Education, Title 9 states that to eliminate discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities, gender equality is a deciding factor. 

“The district has to look at whether a boys’ sport is added, girls need equal opportunity,” Eppler said. “Making a balance between girls’ and boys’ sports so they have equal opportunities.”

Plano ISD also plays a vital role in whether a club will be able to have funding from the district for their transportation, referee and location of the games. For a club that hasn’t taken the steps to gain recognition with the school administration team, the work falls on the students’ backs to organize events and transportation.

“It was a lot harder, but we made it work, and we would always find a way to go play other teams at their court and school,” senior volleyball player Carter Buchanan said. “[The men’s volleyball team] all just drove separately [to games] and showed up at a set time.”

Despite the hard work and dedication students put into these sports, they are still concerned with the lack of representation while being considered extracurricular clubs rather than UIL sports. The Plano East bowling club faces similar challenges in gaining recognition within the student body.

“I feel like we get a lot of recruitment, but we don’t get a lot of representation, and a lot of people don’t know [the bowling club] exists,” senior Jake Brandon said. “We are not getting the recognition a UIL sport does, so there is a disparity.”

Even though their accomplishments may get overshadowed by UIL sports, students find that the community they build is more important than a packed stadium. Through the ups and downs of high school sports, students have found a family in their home away from home.

“People are just trying to have fun, so that’s what I love about volleyball,” Buchanan said. “It’s just a bunch of people that come together, and even though many people are competitive, in the end, they’re all just good friends.”

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