The impact of baseball's steroids scandal on local teens

Thursday, March 17th 2005, 11:23 am
By: News On 6

The steroids scandal isn't just affecting the pros; federal lawmakers say one of the main reasons for Thursday’s hearings on Capitol Hill are kids. They're afraid if the pro's use drugs to get ahead, younger athletes will think they have to do the same.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims talked with a few local high school baseball players Thursday about the scandal and the pressure to perform.

As an all-star line up goes before Congress, whole generations of young athletes are watching their childhood heroes’ fall. Jenks High School senior Shane Volk: "Sosa, Bonds and McGwire ya know they've all been icons for us growing up. And seeing them breaking Roger Maris' record who was a pure player back in the day. It just kinda puts baseball in a negative light."

Steroids have cast a long shadow on America's past time. Congress has subpoenaed several heavy hitters to talk about the steroids scandal. But it’s the aspiring players, which Congress says they're worried about. They're afraid younger athletes will take their cues from the pros and feel pressure to take steroids to get ahead. Shane Volk: "Oh the pressure is definitely out there. You look at these kids and you're really intimidated and you want the best advantage possible. So there's definitely pressure to get ahead and compete with those kids."

But not everyone agrees with short-stop Shane Volk, including his twin brother. Jenks High School senior Chad Volk: "I don't feel any pressure from anybody to take steroids or anything."

It’s a conversation these Jenks high school baseball players have obviously had before. They're following the major leagues scandal, but they've also heard the rumors around the high school baseball mound. Chad Volk: "Its sad that people have to cheat the game and instead of playing with what you got they try to make themselves better I guess that’s how our world is now you gotta get ahead anyway you can."

These athletes are also pretty cynical about Congress being able to clean-up baseball. Jenks High School senior Josiah Hass: "they've seen the professionals taking steroids and they want to get to the highest level possible and so that’s not going to stop high school and college players from trying to do that also."

Jenks and other area high schools do have random drug testing, but it does not detect steroids.