In school years 2017-2021, TC will make changes to their division. The 4A status will move back down to the 3A division. Athletic Director Laura Beatty thinks this change will be a good step for the school.
“I’m very excited because our (average daily membership) numbers reflect the 3A classification. It also reestablishes the rivalries that we have locally here with all the 3A schools. I’m very excited about it,” Beatty said.
Beatty explained that being classified as a 4A was difficult due to the fact that the school was one of the smallest in that division. In fact, TC is closer to the 1A division than the top of the 4A division.
“We are within three or four hundred students of a 3A school. But 4A, they’re twice our size– with 1,500 more students than us. We’re actually closer to 1A schools then we are to the top of 4A schools,” Beatty said.
Senior cheerleader Montana Richardson shares what she thinks it’s been like competing in a 4A versus competing in a 3A school. Previously TC was in the 3A division, and in 2017, it will adjust back to being 3A school. Specifically to cheer, one competing difference is whether the team is co-ed or not.
“The co-ed division is always going to be harder than the all girl teams because you don’t know how many boys are going to be on your competition team. We only have two, some of them have eight. So, it scares me but it makes me want to work harder so that we can have a bigger accomplishment,” Richardson said.
TC Roberson has 32 varsity and junior varsity teams with over 500 students participating in athletics . With TC being in the 4A division and a potential to go back to being 3A there are varying opinions.
“The 4A division is harder because there’s not as many schools that compete in it so the ones that are bigger usually have more people that come in from their teams so they have a larger variety of skill on their team,” Richardson said.
As Richardson reminisces about her previous state competition, she has hope in her face for her team on February 27th, the upcoming and her last state competition as a TC Roberson cheerleader.
“I think we’re going to be ready for this state since we had such a let down on the last one. I think that we are going to come back and I hope that we can finish off the legacy that our alumni have created for us, my last state as a TC cheerleader,” Richardson said.
Sophomore and track runner, Sarah Lewis, explains her thoughts on the difference between TC being a 4A versus a 3A school.
“When I run cross country, in 4A there’s such a wide gap, such a large variety of schools that can fit into 4A, where like 3A, in either one we’re kinda an outlier, so 3A we’re too big to fit obviously but in 4A we’re still really small. We can compete with them but it takes away chances for going to state. In cross country, that’s the reason we didn’t get to go,” Lewis said.
Lewis shares how we stand out as a school in our athletics. Like Richardson, she believes the coaches have a lot to do with the athletics here at Roberson.
“I think the coaches do a lot to prepare us and they take it as serious as the students do. It’s kinda like a big deal and not only do the students understand that, the coaches push them to do that,” Lewis said.
As for the future, TC Roberson will be going back to a 3A school. This would mean competing with different teams.
“We’re going to a 3A school again. I’m excited but yet I still want to be able to compete against larger schools but because we’re going to be a 3A, I think it’ll be easier to gage where we really are against other fellow schools, like Reynolds. In soccer last year they won state, congratulations to them and all, but I mean I feel like it’s hard to know, could TC go as far as they could, but it’s hard to know being a 4A,” Lewis said.
Recently, TC Roberson Swimmers went to compete in state. Sophomore, Mitchell Stanek is a swimmer for TC Roberson. For him, being in the 4A with swimming makes the whole process a bit more difficult.
“Being 4A, the time cuts are significantly harder.I know that specific to swimming but it makes qualifying for regionals and states harder to do then if we were 3A because they base that on, 4A schools are bigger, they should have faster swimmers. Which, makes sense but sometimes makes it harder,” Stanek said.
Swimming has won their conference meet 15 years in a row. Stanek shares his feelings as state approached. As for the time after state, there are initiatives that must take place before moving on to future seasons, some of which will turn into competing within the 3A division. Mitchell shares one of the more prominent initiative for the future.
“On the guys side, we had two seniors on our A relay. Replacing them is going to be something we need to be able to do next year. We’re going to have to develop some younger talent. We’ll just continue to train hard and look forward to next season,” Mitchell said.
As for Beatty, she hopes to expand her coaching staff, especially those already on campus for the school day.
“I think that the 3A classification will help us a lot. If we could hire more on-staff coaches, that are teachers opposed to non-faculty and increase coaching supplement for head and assistant coaches, to attract those more qualified coaches,” Beatty said.