Title IX, Feeling Fine . . . ?

Margaret Fleming, Co-Editor in Cheif

Those who attended last year’s Jesuit Cup at Wintrust Arena saw two buzzer beaters, a game winner from one St. Ignatius player and a miss from another. In Chicago’s new 10,000 seat stadium, the Ignatius girls basketball team beat Loyola, and the boys of the Wolfpack lost.

The previous year, the boys teams packed Loyola Academy’s gym for the event, requiring extra bleachers in the upper level for Wolfpack fans. The girls played in a nearly empty St. Ignatius gym with no microphone and an a cappella National Anthem by a player.

The year before that, the entire far side of St. Ignatius’ gym was covered in students dressed in red, white, and blue for the boys game. The girls game, as usual, did not have enough fans to open up the bleachers on the far side of the gym.

This year, the girls of the Wolfpack beat the Ramblers on December 14 at Loyola Academy. The boys lost on February 8 at the newly renovated Welsh Ryan Arena at Northwestern University, after SICP celebrated Spirit Week and the Winter Pep Rally.

The differences between the teams do not go unnoticed in the programs, especially in regards to attention from the student body.

“I believe the school does its best to support all of its sports program but some have more popularity amongst the students, which results in more attention from the school,” said Nikki McDonald ’19 of the girls basketball team.

Girls Basketball Head Coach Doyle agreed, saying “lots of fan support” at the games would be a big step in the right direction.

“We play fast and we shoot the ball well, we get up and down the floor, and it’s fun to watch us. So, kids should come see what girls basketball is all about,” Coach Doyle said.

However, both head coaches agree that strides are being made to move forward together, citing events such as double header games, service opportunities, and the annual Meet the Wolfpack in November.

I think it’s really important to build the same amount of excitement and have the same amount of opportunities, and to do everything as much as we can together to show a unified front in the community,” said Boys Basketball Head Coach Monroe.

In regards to this year’s absence of a coed Jesuit Cup, Coach Monroe said timing is “the only reason we can’t do it. … we have no control over our conference schedule.”

Nonetheless, the coaches feel the other staff has the right goals in mind for equality between the teams and enjoy working together. 

Coach Doyle said, “Coach Monroe is wonderful to work with and really understands the goal of our school as the betterment of all athletics but working together in the basketball program umbrella has been a lot of fun and very productive and good for the kids.”

Coach Monroe said, “Not only do we work together to try to make both programs better, but we also bounce ideas and seek advice from one another. So having another coaching staff and another head coach of the same sport has been a blessing.”

A key aspect for Coach Doyle is teaching her players a “way to be competitive and aggressive that is really positive and sometimes that’s difficult for young women to have the venue to do that.”

“We see basketball and sports in general as a way to teach these girls and our players to advocate for themselves,” said Coach Doyle.

Molly Gannon ’19 goes for a layup against DePaul College Prep on January 22.
Courtesy of Luke Hales ’20.