New Class to be a Homerun


Rogers teaches a class.

Matthew Bird, Staff Reporter

Seniors will have a new English course to pick, as they sign up for classes this month. Sports literature is a class hoping to give students who have less interest in English something they will enjoy more.

Baseball coach and English teacher Jeff Rogers is scouting new recruits for opening day of Sports Literature and Composition, a new senior English elective.

English is the only course that requires four years of the class. Seniors are required to take either AP Literature and Composition, or Senior Composition and an English elective, choosing from: African American Literature, British Literature, Creative Writing, or Contemporary World Literature. All the electives have a specific focus that, in theory, gives students a choice of what they want from an English class.

“And those classes are great but I feel like there’s room for some new blood,” Rogers said, “While [the current English elective] courses are great, there are kids that are not necessarily going to have their needs met by those courses.”

With that in mind, Rogers set out to create a course that met the needs of more students. He decided the best way to achieve this was by creating a course focused on sports. Once it was approved at the district level, he worked with teachers from across the district to create the curriculum.

“The whole idea of the course is to take books and articles, and then apply that to society,” Rogers said. “Sports are often at the forefront of social change in our country. Whether it is a racial, social or equity issue, it can be anywhere from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball or pay inequality in the national women’s soccer team,”

In order to do this, the class has two focuses. First, students will pick a sports writer to read articles from throughout the semester,” Rogers said,“Then, they will create pieces in a similar style to that author, whether that be writing an article, creating a podcast, or another creative option. Then, the students will read books in book clubs about how society is affected by sports.”

Students will have the option to read many books about sports, such as “The White Boy Shuffle,” a coming of age story about the life of African American basketball star turned community activist Gunnar Kuafman. Another option is “Citizen,” a lyric poem which deals with instances of racism in sports and in sport journalism. From the non-fiction category, “The Girls of Summer” discusses equity in women’s soccer.

“The hard thing now is pairing down the list and deciding what we want to teach and what we don’t,” Rogers said.

News of the Sports Literature class caused lots of excitement from students who enjoy sports.

“I might take this class next year because I think that is very cool to learn about sports, how I can write about sports and tell my opinions about something I am interested in even if I don’t want to pursue that in the future,” Elliot Leong, (11), said.

Sean Kang (11) likes the idea of incorporating multimedia projects into the class.

“I would definitely take that class because I am always interested in making a podcast about sports, especially baseball and basketball,” Kang said.“I am not really a book reader, but if it was about sports I would have more interest in taking it.”

“I think the concept of the class is a little more interesting then a normal English class, because I have more interest in sports,” Brady Blum (11) said. “I think it is something I would definitely take.”

“I think the new sports lit class is going to be a really good addition to our English department because it adds new class for seniors to take besides just pure English classes, which I know can get really boring,” Jackson Barton (11) said. “This will add a new route for people interested in sports to take and be more fun and interesting and it will have them enjoy taking English for once.”

If you are asking yourself if sports literature is right for you, Rogers explains who this class is for.

“This class is for anyone who has an interest in sports and wants to talk about how sports and our culture intersect,” said Rogers.

Sports Lit is not the only new senior elective. In “The Poetics of Hip-Hop,” students will approach rap and hip hop music through the lens of an English scholar, exploring meter, rhythm, storytelling and various other tools that fuel classical literature studies.

You can find more information on the courses in the PCH course guide.