Preps Talk

For female athletes, value of sports goes beyond playing

feat-enterprise-1038x576.jpg
New Trier coach Teri Rodgers addresses her players during a game against Conant. (Ed Gjertsen)

For female athletes, value of sports goes beyond playing

Giuliana Allegrotti

Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

Before Teri Rodgers took over the girls' basketball program at New Trier High School in 1999, all the team's games were played in G110, a smaller practice gym on campus adjacent to the main gym, where the boys played. The whole setup felt stringent to Rodgers; the main gym somehow belonged to the boys and G110 belonged to the girls.

It was also something that bothered Rodgers. She said she was conscious of the message her female players were getting by holding their games in a smaller, inferior gym and one of her first acts as head coach was to move the girls to the main gym.

While female athletes don't have to fight for equal gym access on a regular basis, getting people to watch their games and care about what they're doing on the court or field is still a struggle. That ongoing battle, says Rodgers and women of her generation, is one girls today are equipped to fight.

"When Title IX was passed, on most college campuses, the only sports that got treated with any level of respect were men's football and men's basketball," DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto said at a recent "Women in Sports Symposium" on the history and effects of Title IX, the 1972 legislation which ensured equal athletic opportunities for men and women.

The symposium was held to promote NBC Sports Regional Networks' documentary TOMBOY. It will debut Monday at 9 p.m. on CSN.

Ponsetto, a beneficiary of Title IX herself, played four sports at DePaul in the mid-70s and now is one of just 37 female athletic directors in Division I sports.

"I'd like to think one of the things we do at DePaul with both our male and female athletes is respect and understand the struggle of the women and men who went before them," she said.

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.

39 Days to Kickoff - Downers Grove South

39 Days to Kickoff - Downers Grove South

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Downers Grove South

Head coach: Mark Molinari 

Assistant coaches: Mark Molinari - Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator, Dan Bielawski - Defensive Coordinator, Troy Michalek - Defensive Line, Matt Quatman - Linebackers, Jon Orech - Offensive Line, Chris Wild - Offensive Line, Paul Maggiore - Running Backs, Tony Nevrly - Wide Receivers

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-2 West Suburban Gold Conference). Downers Grove South failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Bolingbrook

Sept. 1 vs Oak Park-River Forest

Sept 8 @ Proviso East

Sept. 14 @ Hinsdale South

Sept. 21 vs Addison Trail

Sept. 28 @ Morton

Oct. 5 vs Leyden

Oct. 12 @ Downers Grove North

Oct. 19 vs Willowbrook

[MORE: 59 Days to Kickoff - Mount Carmel]

Biggest storyline: Can the Mustangs contend for the West Suburban Gold title and get back to the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR/DB Jaelynn Blecke, OL/DL Shawn Lee and ATH Jayden Lambert

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs will have some graduation holes to fill-- especially at the quarterback position. Multi-year starter Matt Greenwald leaves big shoes to fill under center.

EDGY's Early Take: Downers Grove South just missed making the 2017 IHSA state playoff field. While the Mustangs will be a bit younger in 2018, it could work to their advantage. They have some very talented underclassmen names to watch this fall. The Mustangs' overall depth will be tested in a few spots this season; however, if South can stay relatively healthy, this team has a chance to challenge for a conference title and a state playoff spot. 

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Chicago Ag Science

Head coach: Shawn Finnin

Assistant coaches: Craig Dovich, Vince Patterson, KJ Jones and Richard Price

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-1 CPL Chicago Great Lakes Conference). Chicago Ag made the Class 4A state playoff field and lost to Rochelle in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Lindblom

Aug. 31 vs Hubbard

Sept 7 vs King

Sept. 14 @ Harlan

Sept. 21 @ Julian

Sept. 28 vs Marshall

Oct. 4 vs Goode

Oct. 13 @ Urban Prep Englewood

Oct. 19 vs Orr

[MORE: 41 Days to Kickoff - Bogan]

Biggest storyline: Can the Cyclones keep winning in a new conference (CPL Illini Windy City) starting this year?

Names to watch this season: TE Tony Stafford and OL Kam Williams

Biggest holes to fill: The Cyclones will need to replace 8 starters on defense lost to graduation.

EDGY's Early Take: The Cyclones had a historic season in 2017 making the IHSA state playoff field for the first time in school history. With the recent success comes a "move up" to the Illini division this fall. Look for Ag Science to rely on an experienced offense (seven starters) including four returning starters on the Cyclones offensive line from a year ago.