Viewpoint sports and school culture


Jesse Hutchinson, Guest writer

For as long as I can remember, Viewpoint students have been accustomed to the belief that our school is simply bad at sports, and for this reason, many students do not show any school spirit for our very own teams. Many students entirely dismiss our athletic department, believing it to be subpar, and bring up the argument that people only attend our school for our outstanding academics. Now, even though it may be true that our school hosts some of the best academic programs in the country, the notion that Viewpoint School does not hold any good athletic teams is outdated and just plain wrong.

Here are the facts: This year alone has seen multiple Viewpoint programs go to the playoffs and make deep runs, with some teams even winning their respective championships. 

Our Varsity Boys Basketball team went 21-7 this year, making it all the way to the semi-finals of the CIF tournament and the Regional Finals of the State Championship bracket. Out of the entire Gold Coast League, Viewpoint held two 1st team all-league players, Osiris Nalls and Andrew Younan, two 2nd team all-league players, Dylan Perlstein and Jordan Garrison, and the league MVP Giovanni Goree. Keep in mind the Gold Coast League is home to some of the most prolific basketball programs in the nation, including Sierra Canyon and Harvard-Westlake. The fact that Giovanni Goree beat out some of the nation’s best and most famous high school basketball players, including Sierra Canyon’s Amari Bailey, who was ranked the second-best player in the country by ESPN, speaks for itself.

The Varsity Girls Basketball team had an equally, if not more, impressive season as our Boys team did. The talented 20-8 team strolled their way into the Division 1 CIF Championship, ultimately beating out 30-3 Camarillo for the title. Once again, the team held two 1st team all-league players, Karlee White and Kayla Keshmeshian, and two 2nd team all-league players, Madison Nadolenco and Madilyn Palosi. The team’s star Karlee White had an incredible season, scoring an astonishing 37 points in the CIF Championship and earning herself the rank of 22nd best player in California. As much as I would love to go on and on about our teams’ success, I still have an article to write, and I cannot go into detail about every other fantastic player that we have at this school. I think this fact alone drives home the point of how successful our athletic teams really are.

Now that I have blatantly pointed out the true success of our sports program, you may ask yourself: how can people possibly think we are “bad” at sports? Well, if you ask me, the problem is rooted entirely in the stubborn culture and environment that Viewpoint students foster. Viewpoint students need to develop and sustain a “Winning Culture” and escape this losing mentality that we so desperately cling onto.

First, what exactly is a winning culture, and second, how can we create one? According to the Harvard Business Review research, a winning culture treats performance as an explicit output and is conducive to generating the best possible results. In other words, it creates an environment that sets high expectations, fosters a positive attitude, and paves the way for successful performances. If we, as Viewpoint students, can get it out of our heads that we only have losing teams and focus on our success, we can dig ourselves out of this generational hole that we have created.

Suppose we, Viewpoint students, can begin to focus on our successes and stop dwelling on our shortcomings. In that case, I think it will finally be possible to develop a winning culture that will encourage students to show more school pride.