Policy, cost dictates athletic trips

Matthew Chupack and Jonathan Lidskin, Features Editor and Sports Editor

While scrolling through his Twitter feed, senior Spencer Testa saw a tweet that finally confirmed a months-long rumor. The baseball team was traveling to Disney World in Orlando for a baseball tournament during spring break.

Testa said finding out about the trip to Orlando was awesome because Florida weather tends to be a lot nicer than the weather in Northbrook, meaning more games could be played. Going into the trip, Testa thought having access to the Disney resort would make the experience special.

According to John Catalano, assistant principal for athletics, getting an overnight athletic trip approved is a long process.

“[The District #225 Board of Education] will take a look at the proposal, the overnight field trip form and the cost allocation worksheet … to decide whether [the trip] is worthwhile,” Catalano said.

Typically, most of the cost of these trips is not paid by the Glenbrook North athletic department. The department pays the tournament registration fees and for gas if a GBN minibus is used on the trip. The cost of food, hotel and travel is paid for by the families of student-athletes.

According to senior Sam Erickson, the spring break lacrosse trip to Missouri required each athlete’s family to pay $165. That money covered the cost of the meals, hotel room and bus. 

Senior Thomas Stocking said he believes it is reasonable that families are expected to pay for some of the costs for out-of-state athletic trips. For the baseball team’s trip to Orlando over spring break, Stocking thought it would be ridiculous if families did not pay because the charter bus and staying at Disney World were expensive.

Each member of the baseball team had to pay $900 for the Orlando trip to cover the hotel and food. The cost of transportation was not included in this $900.

According to Testa, it is worth the cost for families to pay for out-of-state tournaments.

“[Out-of-state tournaments] are completely different environments,” said Testa. “During spring break, it’s warmer so everybody’s attitude is up, [and] everybody is excited to play. Just the fact that you are seeing teams you never played before is a great experience.”

Erickson said out-of-state lacrosse tournaments are also beneficial to the team. Unlike at home games, the team is together all the time during out-of-state competitions, which is good for team bonding. That gives the seniors the opportunity to mentor the underclassmen on the team.

One reason families need to pay for multiple parts of out-of-state athletic trips is due to the policy that sports, with the exception of cheer, are not allowed to fundraise for overnight traveling. However, clubs and activities are permitted to fundraise to help pay for their trips.

The athletic department permits cheer to fundraise because it is considered an activity in the fall since they do not participate in competitions. Even though cheer is considered a sport in the winter because there are competitions, the team is still able to fundraise because cheer is considered an activity during part of the season.

According to Catalano, the  department does not want to make athletes fundraise by selling items door to door in order to pay for a trip.

Catalano said comments from parents after overnight trips are helpful for planning the next trip. The athletic department received feedback saying parents would like to choose th

The boys varsity lacrosse team plays Highland Park at an away game on April 9. The team was one of the GBN athletic programs that traveled out of state to play in games this past spring break.
Photo by: Shane Olson

e days they travel. This is because some families want to go to the location of the tournament a little early or stay a few days after the tournament ends. These comments allowed parents to have greater flexibility while planning their trip to Orlando.

According to Catalano, the trips taken by the athletes during spring break were worth the experience.

“[The softball team] was able to play five games over a three day period, so there’s no way they would’ve played five games here during spring break,” said Catalano. “I don’t know if it’s going to be annual, but Coach Georgacakis has taken the lacrosse team for a couple of days during spring break six, seven or eight years now in a row and they make [the trip] annual.”