Student athletes defy unathletic reputation


Courtesy of Riley Mullan

In addition to playing varsity field hockey, senior Riley Mullan of Long Branch plays lacrosse for the Green Wave.

Mary Kate Cashman

Can’t throw a touchdown. Can’t shoot a basket. Can’t hit a homerun. All of these describe the “not athletically gifted” stereotypical CHS student, said senior and varsity cheerleader Caroline Collins of Tinton Falls. But Collins doesn’t believe in the generalization.

“I do not believe in the stereotypes because I think the CHS student body is made up of a diverse population and a lot of us do have athletic talents,” Collins said.

Freshman Maeve Miller of Brielle is just one example. As a member of the Manasquan High School softball and basketball teams, Miller has firsthand experienced the so-called “CHS stereotype.” Her teammates at her home school misjudged her and based her skills on where she attended school: a vocational school with no sports teams.

“I know all the people I played with think that since I don’t go to Manasquan, I’m immediately bad, and I had to prove myself throughout the season,” Miller said.

Fitness teacher Ginny Clevenger believes this stereotype is false.

“I recently did the math, and in the senior class alone, 62 percent of them are involved in a sport at their home school or dance or martial arts, so despite the fact that we like to say we’re not athletic, we obviously are,” Clevenger said.

Unlike Clevenger, freshman Tess Rempel of Manasquan, who does not play sports, said the average CHS student is more academically focused than athletically focused.

“[Non-athletic people are] 99 percent of this school,” Rempel said. “People are more dedicated to their education than anything else.”

Like Rempel, senior Riley Mullan of Long Branch, a varsity field hockey and lacrosse for her home school, said the presence of CHS athletes is small.

“I would definitely say that most CHS students do not play sports, but they instead focus on other extracurricular activities,” Mullan said. “Throughout CHS, I haven’t come across a lot of students who play sports, and it seems like there aren’t a lot of people who stick with a sport they played their freshman year by their junior and senior year.”

Wall High School swimmer and sophomore Emma Hecht of Wall said she has seen her peers misinterpret the CHS stereotype.

“It is true that a lot of people aren’t into sports, but that isn’t the case for everyone,” Hecht said. “I don’t take offense to it. I actually think it’s funny, but I do know some people who are bothered by it.”

Like Hecht, freshman Katherine Lombardi of Middletown doesn’t think the stereotype is true, but she said she wouldn’t view it as negative if she thought it was true.

“A lot of my friends and people I know from CHS play sports or at least watch or follow sports. I always see many people in uniform and with equipment at the end of the day,”  Lombardi said. “Even if we didn’t have any sports people, the stereotype that we’re all unathletic isn’t necessarily a bad one either. It’s okay to be unathletic.”