Softball spirit

At Compton High, boys’ sports team have experienced coaches, equipment and well-maintained playing fields. The girls’ softball team had to buy its own bases and bring its own balls to play on a weedy lot littered with the corpses of poisoned gophers. You really need to read the whole LA Times story, which requires registration. (Kate Coe says you can register using “cheesefarm” as a user name and “snorky” as a password.) But here’s part of it:

For the first four games, the girls did not have official uniforms, the old ones having been stolen and the school claiming that the new order had been botched by the vendor.

Remember earlier this spring when the city of Compton held a huge celebration for its three championship basketball teams? Complete with music, lunch and helicopter rides for the players?

Around that time, the Compton softball team was playing in those white T-shirts with Sharpie numbers.

“We had to bend our backs and draw on the numbers right before the first game, with all the girls from the other team looking at us while wearing their brand-new uniforms,” junior outfielder Margarita Landeros said. “That’s when I wanted to quit.”

Nobody quit.

Landeros, who has the top grade-point average in the junior class, plans to talk about the softball team’s struggles if she graduates as valedictorian of her class.

“I know I am getting embarrassed out there,” she said. “But if it takes me being embarrassed to learn something about myself, then I will be embarrassed.”

She’s a winner.

About Joanne

Comments

  1. KateCoe says:

    I sent Joanne (and everyone else in my address book) this story because it made my blood boil. The head of girls’ sports–39 YEARS in the district–should be smacked.

    The casual misogyny of Compton puts these girls at more risk than an army of drive-by shooters.

    If you can spare it, maybe a monetary gift (for Mother’s Day) could be made to this team. I’m sure the sportwriter would help get it to the proper person.

  2. Walter Wallis says:

    Just when you start to lose faith…..

  3. linden says:

    Isn’t this illegal also? Doesn’t it violate Title 9?

  4. jeff wright says:

    Overcoming adversity is its own reward. These girls are indeed winners.

  5. Frank Maguire says:

    There’s something missing from the article. There is no mention of PARENTS. Where are they? Shouldn’t they be leaning on the school, making sure the kids have decent equipment, showing up for a game now and then? This article is about much more than softball.

  6. KateCoe says:

    I think the parents are either very, very busy, distracted or apathetic. This is a poor neighborhood, but the show put on for the boys’ basketball team must have cost a mint. Rappers and basketball players come out of Compton and sometimes go back. Here, girls are bitches and ho’s and not just in gangsta rap.

  7. D Anghelone says:

    Remember earlier this spring when the city of Compton held a huge celebration for its three championship basketball teams? Complete with music, lunch and helicopter rides for the players?

    This is as wrong as the short-changing of the girls.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Isn’t the city of Compton a separate entity from the school district? Money that the city spends on a community gathering (even if it is celebrating championship basketball teams) wouldn’t detract from extracurricular funding within the school district, would it? I mean are we arguing that city shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the boys achievements because the girls aren’t supported by the school district?

  9. PJ/Maryland says:

    Isn’t the city of Compton a separate entity from the school district?

    Yeah, Jennifer, I noticed that distinction, too. The money the city spent on the celebration wouldn’t come directly from the schools, but I think it shows where the city government’s priorities are; no surprise that those same priorities are echoed by the schools.

    Maybe this article will get some action over the summer, and lead to improvements for next school year.

    (BTW, the article seems to have been removed from the LA Times site. It’s 7:30 am EDT right now.)

  10. Thanks, brett.

    I don’t mind a little demographic information, but I don’t know why newspapers a continent away have to know my phone number and mailing address.

  11. Nice site…

  12. Margarita Landeros says:

    Hello, my name is Margarita and as you may recall, I am one of the players for the Compton Softball Team. As I was browsing through the internet, I noticed this website and it called my attention. All I really want to say is that I appreciate the interest that you have in our team and the support that you give us, just by being letting others know that Compton also has spirit for something other than the negative aspects a lot of people comment on. Also, thank you for encouraging others to help our team and publishing this site. Furthermore, I want to let you know that our upcoming team is filled with energy and spirit just like the previous one and that our passion for the softball will not change due to how we do on the games. Once again thank you for sharing your thoughts with others. Last, but not least, feel welcome to come and watch one of the games someday. The season starts in March.

    Margarita Landeros
    Entering Senior at Compton High School