The most difficult sport to play at ETHS is…

Harrison Witt, Sports Columnist

While everyone thinks that whatever sport they play is truly the most difficult, there needs to be a determination of what is the true hardest sport.  This is where I come in.

Every sport is challenging to play once you get to the varsity level, and all of the athletes who play varsity sports at ETHS are talented.  This is due to the training that our student athletes go through in order to play at the level they do is rigorous.  It would be quite the task for the average athlete to participate in a sport that they do not play, but it would be even more of a challenge for this average athlete to defeat someone who plays this said sport at a varsity level.

While sitting in class, two of my classmates (a soccer and a baseball player) broke out into a debate about whose sport is more difficult.   The soccer player claimed that it took more endurance and athleticism to play soccer.  The baseball player said that the skill and hand-eye you need in baseball outweighs the “goods” needed for soccer.  I, as the mediator, intervened and sprung the question, “Who would be more successful? The soccer team playing the baseball team in baseball, or the baseball team playing the soccer team in soccer?”.  This forced a pause in the argument.  I knew my answer; the soccer team would have a tougher time against the baseball team in baseball.  While the baseball team would not score, per se, against the soccer team, they would manage some passes.

That is just one hypothetical.  I started to think about this debate.  What is the most difficult sport at ETHS?  I came to a final decision, but you are going to have to read to find out what that decision is.

The way I made my determination was by using everyone’s favorite thing: numbers.  I created a ranking system using five subcategories: physical toughness, mental toughness/endurance, skill, mental strategy/intelligence and strength.  These categories may seem broad, so I will explain what they mean and how sports fit into them.  I used a five point scale.  For example, football received a five in physical toughness for obvious reasons.  The most a sport could score was a 25, but, of course, none of them did. All of these rankings are not factual statistics.  They are my subjective rankings, so no hard feelings.

In regards to physical toughness,  you do not to be athletic to have physical toughness.  What you do need to have is a certain attitude, you need to be gritty, and you need to be a hard-nosed athlete.  In order for one to have physical toughness, they must play in a sport that requires it.  Physical toughness appears in sports like football, lacrosse and wrestling.  These sports are difficult because they require you to hit another human-being.  Personally, I don’t have that in me.  But, a lot of kids do which is what makes their sports difficult.  The three sports mentioned above earned fives in this category.
Not everyone has the body to have physical toughness, instead some have the brain to have mental toughness.  Mental toughness goes into the endurance a sport requires.  Sports that have athletes with strong mental toughness require perseverance.  Take for example a swimmer.  They have to have mental toughness to participate in the grueling double practices that swimming requires.  That is why swimmers, hoopers, runners and soccer players earned fives in this category.  The strenuous practices and constant running involved in these sports make them difficult in this sense.
You have to be skilled to be successful in all sports.  However, some sports require more skill than others.  Hitting a baseball requires a whole lot more skill than running or kicking a soccer ball.  Sports like swimming and cross country do not require skill compared to baseball or golf.  Those two sports earned fives.  Anyone can run to a certain extent, but not everyone can hit an 80 MPH baseball.

Some sports require more intelligence than others, too.  Once again, baseball requires a lot of strategy and knowledge of the game, because there is so much going on during every play.  However, a sport like swimming does not require as much knowledge.  I have given baseball, basketball and football high scores because of the plays that are run throughout the games.
The final category is strength.  Strength is needed to a certain extent in every sport, but some sports, such as football, require a lot more strength than cross country.  Water polo and swimming require big time strength, and wrestling is a sport based on strength.  Wrestling, football and gymnastics earned fives for their demand of strength.

Now it’s time for my Ryan Seacrest moment.  The winner of the ETHS Most Difficult Sport is… a tie! Football and wrestling took the top spot for most difficult sport with a high score of 22.  It was not a landslide whatsoever.  Basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and waterpolo were right behind the other two.  All of these sports require athleticism, skill and strength.  But, according to my likely flawed grading system, football and wrestling are the two hardest.  Don’t worry, this is just my opinion.  It is not the end all be all.  If a football player and a wrestler are arguing about whose sport is more difficult, I am 100% not getting involved.  I tried my best.  Coming up next for “The Debates of ETHS”, which PE teacher is best at badminton?