Saturday, October 6, 2001
Oak Creek For senior girls at Soroco High School finding a date can be a hard thing to do.
Despite their pretty smiles and bubbling personalities, nothing will change the fact that the senior class of 2002 is graced with only four boys.
This is actually a good year for the Class of 2002's male numbers with addition of Jesse Martin, who bolstered the count to four.
Since their sophomore year, Kyle Babcock, Casey Means and Willie Spicer have stood strong as a group of three among 18 girls.
Though students, teachers and administers admit they have grown used to the unusually small amount of boys, those numbers can make things difficult for events like homecoming dances and proms.
Nicci Bonfiglio said she has felt the pain of being one girl among many.
"It sucks," she said. "We have no guys to date. Your going to a dance and you can't dance."
But, the senior girls claim they have found ways around the 5 to 1 girl/boy ratio that has existed throughout much of their high school years. For dances, the girls have learned to ask boys in other classes or schools, go in groups or just dance with the other girls.
As for dating, most of the girls say their relationships with the four boys are more like a brother and sister friendship, not romance.
Although the boys never have trouble finding a date and receive more attention than the average Soroco student, it is not exactly easy for them either, Means said.
"We almost always stick together," Means said. "(The girls) can be pretty overpowering,"
The boys do not get away with much, explained Rhonda Crawford as she told of how the girls teased the boys that morning for showing up late to coach their powder puff football practice.
That sort of teasing can get pretty rough with 18 girls and four boys, the high school's science teacher Ed Hayne said.
Hayne has taught the Class of 2002 throughout their high school years and said Means, Babcock and Spicer have made it through by sticking together.
"Safety in numbers, I guess," Hayne said.
Unlike his other science classes, Hayne said the Class of 2002 never mixed boys and girls in their lab groups.
"The three boys always team up in lab. The three of them have been here for quite a bit of time. They're very tight in doing things at school together," he said.
Although in the last few years, girls have usually out numbered boys in Soroco high school, principal Richard Coleman said this year is more unbalanced then in the past.
"We have had more girls than boys pretty steady over the last few years. But it has never been that far out of balance," he said. "This is very unique."
Coleman said the small number of boys usually does not make a difference at the high school but it is noticeable when the school needs representatives from both boys and girls.
Last year's student council election had two of the boys running as head boy and the other boy as the campaign manager. For the senior homecoming court, which takes athletes from fall sports, all three football players were automatically on the court.
"We don't have to compete much," Means said, "And there's always competition with the girls."
But the ratio was not always this unbalanced. Senior girls recall their freshman year when there were eight more boys and junior high when the numbers were just about even.
"Between ninth and tenth grade, they all moved away. Three years it's been like this," Bonfiglio said.
Although Bonfiglio said the boys she has talked to from other schools are envious of the four boys' status in Soroco, Means said he wishes things could be a little more balanced.
"You get used to it after awhile but sometimes I wish there were more guys to hang out with," he said.
One the biggest disadvantages of having only four boys is on sports teams, Means said. Although four of the three boys are out for Soroco's football team, those numbers don't compare to the usual seven seniors who are expected to lead the team.
For Martin, who came from Austin, Texas, being a male minority is an adjustment. He said in his old school with more than 200 students per class, the boy/girl ration stood fairly even at 50/50.
"You get used to seeing mostly girls a lot of the time," he said about his new school.
Dana Perriman, who moved from a large class in St. Louis this year, was also surprised by the lack of male students.
"There were 400 people per class and a lot of guys," she said, adding that Soroco's four-boy phenomenon is "weird."
Like many of the other senior girls at Soroco high school, Perriman said she still doesn't know what to do about finding a date for those high school events like homecoming dances and proms.