When thinking about sports at Berkeley High School (BHS) it’s easy to focus on the successes and failures of the boys’ teams. However, the girls’ athletics at BHS are equally — if not more — successful and relevant.
Girls’ athletics at BHS boast remarkably high turnouts. Over nine hundred girls tried out for BHS sports last season, according to the BHS Athletic Directors. That would put the participation of girls in sports at about forty percent.
Sports have become an important part of many girls’ lives, including volleyball co-captains and seniors Margot Fish and Eliana Ives who, like many other female athletes, benefit from the unique opportunities sports offer. Ives said: “I think it’s really important for girls’ sports to exist because they give a place for community and competition. There’s not a lot of all girls’ spaces where we can compete with one another, so by having girls’ sports it gives us healthy competition.” Fish added: “For me, volleyball keeps me healthy emotionally. When I play, I get all my stress out.” Regardless of the reasons behind girls’ participation, the large selection pool has led to a dominant BHS girls athletics program. Girls’ volleyball has had a 14-2 record this year, tournament matches included, and is looking to defeat Bishop O’Dowd for the first time in 16 years. According to Ives, they also hope to make it at least to the quarter-finals of the North Coast Section (NCS) championship. “This year we all have high standards,” said Fish. “We will not settle for an average season, we all plan to make it past as many rounds as possible.” Other BHS girls’ sports teams have also found impressive success: the girls’ tennis team had key preliminary wins against rivals Alameda and Castro Valley, and girls’ water polo and field hockey have also had impressive starts to their seasons.
Ultimately, BHS girls athletics are a popular and positive experience for most of those who participate and offer many benefits.