LRHS is a typical high school: home to the jocks, the cheerleaders, the band kids, the chorus kids, the skaters, the bookworms and countless others. People, usually outside of their own groups, tend to negatively stereotype others. Attempting to show that the stereotypes associated with them are undeserved, I will spotlight different cliques that are generally misinterpreted. For now, the spotlight is on the “football jocks.”
Most movies and TV shows portray jocks as big, mean and dumb. Football and basketball players are characterized as arrogant and self-centered. This forms the generic stereotype of a “jock.”
“When I think of the typical jock, I picture someone stuck up and full of himself but still really attractive,” said Cammie Draper, junior. She clarifies that not all jocks are like that, but most.
Ethan Cornelius, freshman, said, “I do believe that there are some nice jocks out there, but usually they seem mean to the other people who don’t play sports.” He said the stereotypical jock is “someone who plays sports really well but is usually not smart.”
Braxton Berrios, sophomore and varsity football player for LRHS, seemed offended when referred to as a jock. “When I think of a jock, I think of someone dumb and not bright who plays sports just to get through high school,” he said.
With a GPA of 4.25, it is very clear that Berrios does not fit the descriptions he provided. “I know it’s shocking, but we are involved in other things, not just sports,” he said in a sarcastic tone. Berrios is on the hunt for a club to join.
Selo Kuvuna, senior and varsity football and basketball player, agrees with Berrios’ description of a stereotypical jock. “Everyone just assumes we’re stupid. We’re really not,” said Kuvuna. Kuvuna makes exceptional grades and hopes to join FTA and FBLA. He is also interested in joining FCA sometime in the near future.
“These guys must workout like every day and drink protein shakes all the time. It shows,” said Draper.
Berrios told me that he, like Draper assumed, works out every day. However, contrary to what Draper and Cornelius surmised, Berrios does not submerse himself in unusual diets.
“I don’t drink any protein shakes yet,” said Berrios, “but I’ll probably have to start soon. Once you start, you’re supposed to keep at it, so I’m trying to put it off for a little longer.”
“It really sucks that we get stereotyped as cocky and [as] those guys who play girls,” said Berrios. “We aren’t like that, so when I get called a jock, I take it as an insult.”
Both Berrios and Kuvuna explained to me how they play sports solely because it is what they love to do, not because they long for attention.
The “football jocks” are not only interested in the physical sports they play, but they are also becoming involved in the community.
“The boys collected a total of 67 backpacks, filled them with nonperishable items, and brought them to the outreach ministries downtown,” said Mr. Smothers, football coach. The backpacks were then distributed to students in need, providing them with a backpack of their own, and several meals for their family.
The stereotypes about Leesville Road High School’s jocks can be easily taken as insults. In many instances, the stereotypes associated with football players are simply due to a lack of understanding. Making assumptions and accusations is easy when one does not know the other. By simply taking the time to learn more about others, the misunderstandings can be completely resolved.