After years of being required by coaches to retrieve and throw in balls for the men’s and women’s soccer games, a change in policy has allowed the softball team to be free of this requirement.
This decision was sparked by an incident a few weeks ago when a Trinity soccer player cursed at one of the softball players working the game.
“He told me to ‘do my f—ing job,’ ” said Marisa Trevino, a junior sociology major and outfielder for the softball team.
Several members of the team expressed outrage that they were disrespected after all of the work and support they have put in for both soccer teams.
“They should have all been grateful that the softball team took time out of our days to work their games,” said Danielle Ruiz, a sophomore sociology major and first baseman. “We are all one student body and we should all support each other. It’s sad that certain players had to stoop low enough to disrespect a person that was helping them.”
The Trinitonian was following this story last week, before the policy was reneged. Ruiz had expressed her frustrations with the softball team’s situation then.
”I enjoy watching our soccer teams. They are very talented and it’s fun to watch their hard work pay off. However, I do dislike how some of us are treated by the visiting teams,” Ruiz said. ”Personally, I did not know how to properly do my job when I was a freshman. I couldn’t tell the difference between when a corner kick was supposed to happen versus the goalie throwing or kicking it in. It is not unusual for the workers to be yelled at by the teams. And that is really aggravating because some of us don’t know soccer at all and we were never taught what to do.”
While this was a paid position for softball players, many felt that they did not have a choice in working soccer games. Ruiz suggested that if the teams helped each other out equally or switched off which sport they worked every so often, it would likely lighten the load on all athletes.
“I am very proud of our soccer teams, but I feel very disrespected by them. The softball team does so much for them and it is overlooked. We are at every one of their games, working for them,“ Ruiz said. “Do they come and support us at our games? No. We let them use our game field as their practice field when their season comes. Do they take good care of our field? No. They completely destroy it. They don’t even have the courtesy to move the goals off the field when we have practice for our fall season. We have to do it. And why are they not mandated to work the softball games? Foul balls are hit all the time, but who has to get them? Us. Working for soccer would be more enjoyable if their was a mutual respect — but there is not.“
The softball team mentioned another big problem they perceived: Not all teams are required to work other sports’ events in the first place.
“The lack of equality in the demands and jobs imposed upon us builds animosity amongst the sports teams and has a negative impact on the cohesion of the athletic student body,“ said Rebecca Berreth, a senior neuroscience major and shortstop for the softball team.
Softball coach Brandi Crnkovic agrees with the idea that Trinity athletes have to work as one unit.
“It is not just about softball working — we are an out-of-season sport supporting athletics. The baseball team also works for the volleyball team and in the past football has worked track meets. As a small institution, we have to all work together to support one another,“ Crnkovic said.
The Trinitonian reached out to staff on the men’s soccer team and received a statement from assistant coach Callum Squires. Squires claims that there are no hard feelings between the teams anymore.
“There really isn’t a situation anymore at this point. The men’s soccer player has issued an apology, our coaches have been in contact and the teams have been in contact,“ Squires said.
First-year midfielder Jacob Hallenberger says he appreciated the assistance from the women on the sideline.
“I do think it’s very helpful, especially when it’s a tight game. The ball goes out of bounds and we need to get a new one as quickly as possible and they are always there to do that. Also, they are always supportive to the guys on the team,” Hallenberger said.
The position is now open to anyone who would like to help out with the soccer games. The softball players can continue working soccer games if they would like, and according to Squires, several of them plan to do so.
In the meantime, the softball team can now focus on their other off-season responsibilities.
“I think it has been a long time coming and it just took a big incident to finally make it happen. I think that this opens up great opportunities for people who actually want to work the games to get a chance to work them. I think the athletic department did an excellent job of handling this and I feel very supported as a sport and as a team by this decision,” Trevino said.