The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Niche sports at DVHS

Pole Vaulting is a lesser known event of the track and field sport.
Abby Kapur
Pole Vaulting is a lesser known event of the track and field sport.

For years since DVHS has been open to students, it’s never been known widely as a sports titan. Because of the strong academic focus that the DVHS environment has, many DVHS athletic teams have been overlooked. Popular sports like football and basketball thrive with off-the-chart student attendance and support. But hidden in the shadows of these titan sports are some that are lesser-known within the student community.

Now, DVHS teams in lesser-known sports are bringing DVHS’ athletic prowess to the spotlight. 

Stunt is one key example of an accomplished but overlooked team sport at DVHS. While often compared to cheer, stunt is a distinct sport that uses skills derived from cheerleading to create skill-based routines. Stunt games are high-paced matches between two teams who execute routines full of skills incorporating jumps, tosses, pyramids and more. 

“While cheer has unique aspects, stunt is more technical,” sophomore varsity stunt athlete Krithika Natarajan said. “It requires a lot of skill to perfect your tosses, tumbles and pyramids.”

Even though individual skills are a crucial part of stunt, the team bond is what they value most.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen another sport where teamwork is so valued,” Natarajan stated. “You need to band together because you need to be on the exact same counts for each movement. If one little thing is off, the entire thing comes crashing down.”

Because of the need for a strong team bond within the sport, the stunt has fostered a tight-knit community.

“The energy of the team and the coaching is so high all the time,” Natarajan said. “If you’re looking for a team where everyone supports each other, definitely consider joining stunt.”

Unfortunately, not many people in the student body know about the sport. Even prospective members of the team have had a hard time getting information about the team.

“I probably would have joined freshman year if I knew about it,” Natarajan stated. “Because it’s honestly so fun. I would do anything to get an extra year of it.”

While stunt is not extremely well-known at DVHS, their strong team bond and dedicated coaching have led them to success. 

“We’re so blessed to have the coach that we do,” Natarajan stated. “We also have access to many facilities and tools that not all other schools do. Stunt is honestly such a supportive community, so have fun with what you’re doing.”

Another sport that is often overlooked at DVHS is pole vault. A track & field event in which competitors attempt to vault over a high bar with the end of an extremely long flexible pole held in the hands, it’s a far cry from other track events like sprinting and hurdles. But at the same time, it is an extremely technical  and enjoyable one. 

“For pole vault, you have to rely on using something besides your body,” senior athlete Michael Shabazian said. “Throwing yourself in the air with the poles is a really unique experience.”

Throwing yourself in the air with the poles is a really unique experience

— Michael Shabazian

Since pole vault is not a popular track and field event, there are not many members on the team. But the small number of people has actually allowed the team to become more close-knit. 

“Since the team is small, we are a tighter community,” Shabazian said. “Additionally, our coach can give you more individual time and attention to help you become better.”

Because of the unique skills that pole vault requires, experience with the sport is not a huge determinant of how well a player will do in high school. Over the course of the season, players can learn the event and compete. 

“It’s somewhat of a strange sport,” Shabazian said. “Nobody really has any experience when they go into it, but you grow to love it.”

The small size of the pole vault community and growth curve for all the players has created a strong bond within the team. They’ve fostered a supportive and enjoyable environment for all.

“With pole vault, every day is a great day,” Shabazian said. “Every day at practice is so much fun.”

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About the Contributors
Anushka Kabra
Anushka Kabra, Journey Manager
Anushka joined the Tribune to write about topics relevant to the student community and to hopefully make an impact within it. Also for the legendary snack cabinet, of course. She was in the Journey program for 2 years in middle school, and absolutely loved having a platform to voice her thoughts and opinions. After taking J1 in her freshman year, she realized that she wanted to be a part of the Tribune community throughout high school. In her free time, Anushka enjoys listening to indie pop and 80's rock, binge-watching Suits or Grey's Anatomy, and failing at baking (the edibleness of everything she bakes is very questionable). If Anushka could be any other person on the Tribune, she would be Sura because of her insane crochet skills and creativity!
Abby Kapur
Abby Kapur, Sports Editor
Abby joined the Wildcat Tribune on a whim and stayed for the wonderful people she found. Her goal for this year is to leave the sports section better than it used to be. In her free time, Abby loves to run with her team, get coffee with her friends, and bake with her sister. A fun fact about Abby is that she has watched her favorite movie, Knives Out, at least seven times. If Abby could be anybody on the Tribune, she'd be Luna (past Tribune member), because of the unique, attentive way she sees the world.

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