by Aaron Warner
The Mid-Vermont Christian School (MVCS) varsity girls’ basketball team courageously decided to forfeit their playoff game against the Long Trail School (LTS) after discovering one of the LTS players is a biological male. Rose Johnson is the name of the player in question. Rose also happens to be the tallest player on the team.
LTS is situated in Dorset, VT, a small town just east of the New York border about midway down the state. Some 2,133 people reside in Dorset, compared to just 656 in Quechee, and the school size and facility differences are similarly unequal. LTS has more than twice as many students in their sixth thru twelfth grade school as does MVCS who have just over 100 children K thru twelfth.
LTS started out as a start up school back in 1975 with a mere 14 students learning in the Dorset Sportmen’s Club building. Today it is one of the premier private schools in western Vermont owning in part to being an International Baccalaureate school. LTS draws students from 38 Vermont towns, New York and 20 countries around the world. Perfect graduation and high 90% college acceptance rates ensure prospective families their money will be well spent at LTS.
MVCS offers a classic Christian education which, given Vermont’s politics, makes it much more difficult to recruit students to their modest but bucolic campus in Quechee. MVCS can make a similar claim to nearly perfect graduation and high college acceptance rates however they operate on a much smaller budget, with a much smaller staff and do so annually by faith and the help of a few key faithful donors.
Known less for their athletic program as more for their education model, MVCS offers but a few school sports (four) compared to LTS (ten). The diminutive Eagles from MVCS made it all the way to the state championship in 2020. However, due to COVID restrictions they were unable to play the game but took home a share of the state championship by default.
I reached out to MVCS head coach Chris Goodwin for comment and was told the school would be discussing it with the board before issuing a statement. The sentiment being they don’t want to pick a fight. However, they feel compelled to take a stand for the sake of the integrity of girl’s athletics, which is both compassionate and courageous given the context.
MVCS Head Master Vicky Fogg sent me the following:
“We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”
LTS staff did not respond to my request for comment to questions.
As a professional coach and strength and fitness expert I happen to understand this situation better than most. The field of exercise science, as much as biology, is where the discussion about trans-athletes should begin and end. The current “woke” argument claims biology exists on a spectrum and that a person’s feelings about their identity trump their biological fingerprints.
To be clear, there is no spectrum. There are no mutli-chromosomal pairings in humans, or any other mammals for that reason, so the pseudo-scientific claims made by the pretend scientists are Lysenkoism in drag. If you go to the animal kingdom you will not find male lions, hyenas, elephants, porpoises, dogs or monkeys manufacturing feminine hybrids. Humans are mammals and, like our inferior creatures, the biology is stark. One need only look at a mammal for a few seconds to know which sex they are.
Consistent with the very clear external organ difference is the more important difference that translates to why human males have an unfair advantage over human females. Bone mass, lean mass, cardiac output, strength capacity, work capacity and kinesiological potential all heavily advantage males. This is why men’s competition records (i.e. sprinting, jumping, weight lifting) dwarf women’s.
Men are bigger, faster, stronger and, most importantly when considering athlete safety, less likely to get injured. Despite the number of male athletes outpacing the number of females, the number one injury among all athletes is the female soccer knee decelerating in rotation. Why? Because women have wider hips which creates a more steep angle to the knee known as the Q angle. This creates an imbalance between the gluteus medius and its antagonist adductor muscles creating less activity in the vastus medialis (superior and medial to the patella or kneecap), which makes the female knee less stable and more susceptible to injury.
Add to this fact that men are larger, faster and stronger than women and the potential for males injuring girls increases dramatically in competition.
In the case of Rose Johnson of LTS this is certainly true. I watched the little bit of video I could find of Johnson playing, and it was painfully obvious to me they are a biological male in how he moves, runs, jumps and produces force.
LTS’ road game against recent state champions Proctor illustrated why Johnson should not be allowed to play on the girl’s team. At several key moments in the second half Johnson’s physical ability made a noticeable difference in the outcome. LTS won the game. The girls from Proctor were scrappy but they couldn’t overcome the larger opponent.
Johnson’s nickname is also Rose “Not in This House” Johnson for his prowess in blocking shots. In one game he had seven blocked shots. That means seven shots, typically closer to the basket so much more likely to go in, were blocked by the guy who is taller than every other girl on the floor, can jump higher and likely is significantly stronger. In what world is this even remotely fair to other Vermont Division IV girls?
Physical advantages aside there is the psychological advantage over other teams who don’t have a male player. We already know, thanks to a recent CDC report, over half of American girls struggle with depression and feelings of hopelessness. It doesn’t take a biologist to figure out why. By allowing men to co-opt and bastardize womanhood to suit their own inadequacies those who participate in this charade are telling girls your identity and safety don’t matter. These girls look into a world of supposed adults now openly declaring they don’t even know what a woman is. This is the how you demoralize a generation.
However, the bantam Davids at MVCS are not to be demoralized. A story about standing up to giants reminds them who they ultimately serve. Rather than participate and enable both delusion and danger they do what Christians do best. They took a knee, said no thank you. Not in the house of the Lord.
The author is a fitness expert living in Hartford.