Griswold High School in Helix, Oregon only offers one winter sport: Basketball. It is offered for both boys and girls, per the Title IX Federal Law. The Title IX Federal Law, passed in 1972, requires that any school sports that get federal funding to have the same sports or the same amount of sports that men have offered to them. “It is traditionally what we have done,” says Griswold High School’s athletic director, Tammie Parker. If the school receiving the money does not comply, the money is withdrawn.
Basketball has long been an important part of GHS and its education. Both boys and girls have gone to state for it, even winning state titles in the 1980s. “It seems to have the most interest,” said Helix Athletic Director Tammie Parker.
Parker explained that since there is only a certain number of students at a 1A school, they have to focus on one sport so they have full teams.
Lirian Holden, a senior basketball player at Griswold, says that if there are full teams, one sport is enough. “Personally, this year, I think we will have a good group of girls and it will be a good season,” said Lirian Holden.
If there is a sport that Griswold High School does not offer that students would like to see offered, an option is for Helix to co-op with other schools. However, the Helix School Board does not want to co-op with schools other than Athena-Weston and Pendleton so their students do not have to travel long distances for practices and games.
If Griswold were to have a new co-op, the proposal would have to be brought up to both school boards, then both schools' Athletic Directors would fill out forms regarding the co-op. It would take several months to set one up, and would need to be redrawn and presented to the board every year. Parker says that if there is another sport students want to do, they just have to tell her to potentially begin the process.
There is a chance that Pendleton High School may cut off the co-op between Griswold and PHS because after Helix became a charter school, many Pendleton School District students transferred out of the district and enrolled in Helix, potentially jeopardizing the agreement.
Holden has an interesting idea for additional activities that many Helix students might possibly enjoy. She said that if possible, E-Sports would be very cool.
Griswold High School does not offer anything related to snowsports other than one trip to Anthony Lakes Ski Resort or Bluewood per year. Many students, such as Holden, want more than just one trip. She thought maybe having a club that goes every now and then would be amazing. The school's administrative assistant, Cindy Wood, says that a ski/snowboard club could be possible, but interested students would have to find a group of staff or parents willing to organize it.
Griswold High School’s sports teams are a part of the Old Oregon League. It is a split league, and on their side, the teams are: Pilot Rock, Echo, Nixyaawii, Union, Elgin, and Griswold. GHS has never had any other winter sports besides basketball. Parker thinks that the first basketball team at Helix was also the first year the school was opened, so the tradition runs deep.
Lirian Holden felt that more often with small schools than bigger schools, the athletes pay more attention to the win-loss score instead of their own skill development. “Continuing to keep your heads up instead of focusing on the win-loss score (is important),” said Holden, hoping to give advice to current and future athletes.
Whether Helix has only a few sports or many, Parker thinks that sports are a great way to engage with other kids and learn teamwork skills. “It is good to get out and be around people,” said Parker. She encourages everyone to be involved in sports. With only one winter sport offered, and with a prevailing popular belief that only one is not good enough, many of the students at Griswold High School disagree with those opinions and feel that what Helix offers is both sufficient and fun.