It’s time to stop using the term Lady Titans. We are all Titans.


Aubrey Keane

You may know some of the female sports teams here at Shaler Area High School as the “Lady Titans.” Whether you are a woman on a sports team here, a parent of an athlete, or just a spectator, the chances are that you’ve heard this moniker. 

However, if you’ve been to a game where the men’s teams are playing, they are simply referred to as the Titans. In my opinion, this divides the sports teams by gender and does not create a unified student-athlete body behind one name – the Titans. 

“Yes I think that it does [define us by our gender] because if we are all supposed to be one team, why is it just the girls with a gender in the team name?” junior softball and tennis player Paige Sigmund said.

As a woman student athlete, my teams have been referred to as the “Lady Titans” as far back as fifth grade. I didn’t realize it then, but most of the other teams I was playing against were not the “Lady” anythings. They were simply the Fox Chapel Foxes, the North Allegheny Tigers, and even the West Mifflin Titans.

“Saying Lady Titans is such an outdated way to say I play basketball,” junior basketball and volleyball player May Engel said.

Going through old newspapers and social media posts, our female sports teams have been referred to as this for years. From a recent Facebook post calling the girls’ cross country team the Lady Titans in 2022, to a 2012 newspaper article congratulating the Lady Titans basketball team on bouncing back after a streak of losses. 

Not only are the sports teams here divided by a name, but they do not support each other the way they used to. This “Lady Titans” label just further divides the girls from the boys. 

The ‘Lady Titans’ name is a product of the past…I don’t necessarily view it as a negative thing, but dropping the ‘Lady’ from the phrase would be a step in the right direction in terms of equality.”

— Mr. Brian Duermeyer, girls tennis coach

I definitely do not feel that we are unified in anything anymore,” Mr. Bill Ament, girls soccer coach said, “I graduated high school at Shaler in 1996. When we were here everyone went to the sporting events. If you were on the girls soccer team, you came and supported the boys when they played and vice versa. I miss that happening. It made for a fun atmosphere and a great way for everyone to stay connected and have fun.”

The school has been actively doing things, like changing caps and gowns, in order to create equality. Getting rid of the unofficial Lady Titans nickname would be another great way to promote equality, especially in sports. 

For athletes who are non-gender conforming, this label can be harmful. Assigning gender to a team as a whole can make nonbinary and other non-gender conforming students feel invisible to their peers. Sports are supposed to be fun for athletes and promote teamwork, but how can students enjoy them when they feel unseen and unheard? 

There are countless examples of nonbinary athletes not having their pronouns and gender identity respected within their sports, both locally and all over the world. If this still happens at a professional level in sports, of course it will happen in high school. Removing gender from the name of our teams will be a first step to stop this from occurring. 

The ‘Lady Titans’ name is a product of the past, when society was stuck on traditional gender roles and titles. I don’t necessarily view it as a negative thing, but dropping the ‘Lady’ from the phrase would be a step in the right direction in terms of equality,” Mr. Brian Duermeyer, girls tennis coach, said. 

The termination of this nickname for the girls will do more than just take gender out of the name. It will be the first step to reunifying the boys and the girls teams and hopefully recreating the supportive atmosphere within our athletic program.