The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

The official student media of Blue Valley Northwest High School

BVNWnews

Currently kicking into women’s sports history

On Saturday, March 16, KC Current will open the first women’s sports stadium in the world in downtown Kansas City.
Currently+kicking+into+women%E2%80%99s+sports+history
Jeny Jithesh

According to The Washington Post, KC Current will open the first-ever women’s sports stadium on March 16. The KC Current soccer team was founded in 2021 and began building its stadium in Oct. 2022. It is the world’s first soccer stadium built for a women’s professional sports team.

“I don’t know how anyone can not be excited about it. To have to be the only stadium dedicated in the world to women’s sports is a big deal, and I think that in itself just shows how invested they are in the city; that doesn’t happen by accident,” BVNW head soccer coach Michelle Pothoven said. 

BVNW science teacher Sarah Derks said she enjoys how KC Current truly differs from other sports teams in Kansas City. 

“KC Current, I really feel like they’re gearing it towards the future of soccer, male and female boys and girls, and I think that’s what makes it different compared to other professional teams in Kansas City,” Derks said.

Derks said she is looking forward to the stadium opening because it will show what the future of women’s sports can be. 

“Seeing what the Longs and the Mahomes are doing to try and bolster women’s sports, how they’re treating this, like a professional team, and not just like a throwaway women’s team…really helps encourage their support of women’s soccer, knowing that this is going to be the future for women’s sports,” Derks said. 

Senior Lauryn Burbach follows the KC Current team closely and was at the game at which the team announced their new name. Burbach said she initially followed Sporting KC as her father was a season ticket holder, so she attended many games. At one game, she met Maegan Rosa, a previous player for FCKC, who encouraged her to attend a women’s soccer game. After that experience, Burbach said she began to follow women’s soccer more closely.

“I feel like Sporting Kansas City, because they have a reputation and because they’ve been in the business for however long now, [has] an image to upkeep, whereas KC Current is just starting,” Burbach said. “So far, that image has just been positive, fun, interactive with their fans, and very, very encouraging.”

Derks said the atmosphere at KC Current games is exciting because fans get to experience the uniqueness and beauty of watching the team. 

“When you’re with fans, and you’re watching the game with a bunch of people, there is an excitement to it,” Derks said. “There’s something about soccer where for 45-minute halves, the crowd really is trying to be as involved as possible.”

Derks said she admires how the KC Current soccer players interact with fans on and off the field because it helps build their fan base here in Kansas City. 

“These women know that in order to continue the excitement of the sport, you got to [give] back to the fans,” Derks said. “They truly know and believe that if it weren’t for the fans, they wouldn’t be there.”

Pothoven said she’s noticed the team’s investment in the city. She said she often has Current players attend girls’ high school soccer games and has their publications team reach out to give group discounts for games.

“I love the way the team, as a whole, like the whole organization, is doing things. I think they are invested in the city, which is a big deal. Especially when you’re trying to get something off the ground, obviously that’s important, but it’s always really fun to see the way they understand the importance of women’s and girls’ soccer everywhere,” Pothoven said.

Derks said she thinks KC Current is helping young girls believe they have a future playing professional women’s sports. 

“There’s a possibility for girls to grow up to be women who have chances professionally,” Derks said. “There’s still a lot of inequality, but I feel like KC Current tries to treat their women with a huge amount of respect, which I appreciate.”

Derks said she believes the new stadium will increase the excitement for women’s soccer in the United States and bring a greater spotlight to Kansas City.  

“These women work hard, and they play hard on the pitch, so hopefully, people [will] see that they are important enough to invest a ton of money to build a huge, beautiful stadium,” Derks said. “When the World Cup comes, one of the countries is going to be using the KC Current training facility. That wouldn’t have happened years ago, so that’s pretty exciting.”

As a soccer coach, Pothoven said she has seen the KC Current soccer team’s positive impact on girl’s soccer and is looking forward to seeing their impact continue to grow. 

“I think their impact has been huge, just what it does to the excitement of girls’ soccer. Having [women] to look up to [in] soccer is really big in Kansas City, and then when you have women who are being those role models, it’s just huge,” Pothoven said. “It doesn’t happen everywhere, and for girls to get to grow up and see that, I mean, their impact is huge already, and we haven’t even opened the stadium yet.”

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About the Contributors
Saraphina Wambi, Writer
Saraphina Wambi is a senior and a writer for “The Express” as well as the host of the “BVNWspeaks” podcast.  This is her second year on staff and outside of newspaper, Saraphina is student body President, BSU President, Model UN President, SNHS president, Gold Out KC (NW chapter) founder and president, and involved in girl’s tennis, HOSA, Mental Health Board, BVNW Ambassadors, NHS, Quill and Scroll, Chamber Symphony, Tri-M, and Medical Club. In her free time she likes to hang out with her friends, read, and play tennis. She is extremely grateful for the opportunity to write for “The Express” and cannot wait to see what is in store for the year!
Adria Heinauer, Writer
Adria is a sophomore and a writer for “The Express.” This is her first year on staff. Outside of newspaper, Adria is involved in girl’s soccer and basketball. In her free time Adria enjoys going for runs, hanging out with friends, playing soccer, and babysitting. She is so excited to be apart of “The Express” this year.
Jeny Jithesh, Online Editor
Jeny Jithesh is a senior and Online Editor of “The Express” and BVNWnews. This is her second year on staff as a writer. Outside of newspaper, Jeny is serving as the President of FBLA and KAY Club and participates in Student Government, NHS, NEHS, and Quill & Scroll. In her free time, Jeny loves going on walks with her parents, hanging out with friends, painting, and traveling. She is looking forward to contributing to BVNWNews as an editor and writer!

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