K-State offers sporting opportunities besides football, basketball


We at K-State pride ourselves on the successes of our athletics teams — we celebrate when they win, and we commiserate when they lose. We cheer for them, and we criticize them (in the most loving way possible, of course). 

However, we often focus our attentions and adoration on only the two marquee sports: football and basketball. In the furor of football season we tend to forget that volleyball, golf, cross country, tennis, rowing and equestrian teams are also in season. We tend to forget that our most successful teams are often our most ignored.

Last year our football team ended a less-than-impressive season with a 5-7 record. Men’s basketball did better, but still failed to deliver in the postseason.

Meanwhile, track and field had their best finish in the NCAA tournament in a decade, and Scott Sellers won another national championship in the high jump. Women’s cross country came home with a sixth place finish in the Big 12 Championships last year, the equestrian team finished fifth nationally, and both men’s and women’s golf brought home a fourth place finish in their own Big 12 tournaments. The Wildcat Nation has a lot to be proud of, though you may not know it.

It is a thrilling experience, cheering for one’s team, no matter the sport. And it is a thrilling experience, as a student-athlete, to know that your peers are behind you.

Sports, besides football and basketball, have a lot to offer to spectators, besides plenty of excuses to celebrate.

We are here at K-State to learn and to broaden our horizons in all aspects of life, and we should take advantage of the opportunities presented. Why don’t you attend the equestrian season opener vs. TCU tomorrow? If horses aren’t your thing, you can cheer on the volleyball team as they take on the University of Texas.

You might learn something while you’re there, and if nothing else, it’s a great excuse to start the tailgating early before you make the trek to Arrowhead Stadium for the Iowa State game.

Where were you when Sarah Weller won a national championship in reining with the equestrian team? Do you know how Scott Sellers did at the last Olympic trials?

We are lucky enough to be home to some of the best athletes in the world — athletes you will one day see in the Olympics and on television. Don’t you want to be able to say “I was there when …”?

Students at K-State should make it a point to attend a sporting event to cheer on the athletes of those less lauded sports at least once in their tenure here at our university. It is a horizon-broadening experience, as well as an excuse to continue to tailgate well beyond the end of football season. Besides, who doesn’t want to see the Jayhawks humiliated in every sporting arena possible?

-Jessica Hensley is a senior in political science. Please send comments to opinion@spub.ksu.edu.