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A Back Bay student playing soccer

Dressed in black with yellow sports pinnies, the Back Back High School Bulldogs lined up on the recently outlined soccer field for final instructions from a referee clad in a bright blue shirt. School Community Facilitator Hugo Solorio and Campus Safety Facilitator Sara Gomez hovered nearby, ready to resume coaching their ragtag team. Their opponents from La Vista High School in Fullerton huddled by a large tree on the other side of the field.

Against the fence, Back Bay students ate their lunches and mildly heckled their team. Supporting an organized group from their school was still new to them, explained Gomez with a smile. Media Arts teacher Chris Ziebarth set up a portable scoreboard on a table while two of his students got their cameras ready to capture the action on the field.

The players from La Vista took their positions on the field in matching jerseys as the players from Back Bay got a last-minute pep talk from their coaches. A coin flip determined which team got kick-off rights, and suddenly, it was game time. The Bulldogs were the first to score, which maybe surprised them the most.

Students playing soccer at Back Bay High School

“The intramural sports program has been a boost to our school community. It has brought our students a sense of teamwork and pride,” said Principal Dr. Kirk Bauermeister.

The addition of intramural sports to Back Bay has fostered a more positive school culture, as students enhance their communication skills and work together toward a common goal. Practices occurred during lunch, with students learning the rules of different sports and developing time-management capabilities.    

Activities like this promote healthier lifestyles for students, encourage sportsmanship, and build self-esteem. Not only are students learning team building, but they’re also building school pride.

Though the Bulldogs did not win the game that day, they left the field with their heads high and energized to play again. 

Back Bay High School’s intramural sports adds to the variety of engaging programs, including digital and media arts, dance, a community garden, and the Career Technical Education program centered on the Spyder Lab.