A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Showcase, Sports, Student Life

Springin’ up sports

Spring is on the way, and that means sports such as boys tennis, girls soccer, track, softball and baseball are around the corner. Practices and tryouts will be starting after spring break, while some start during break.

Junior Bryce Carlson plays boys tennis and described why he joined by stating, “My friends were doing tennis, and they said it was fun and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also enjoy going to meets with friends. This year I hope to be the number two varsity spot because this is my third year playing, and last year I played number three singles on varsity.”

The first boys tennis practice begins the first day back from spring break. Hopefully, the snow melts so teams can get on the courts and fields soon. Compared to last year, seasons were pushed back and teams were not able to get the best practice indoors.

Sophomore Isabel Colon expressed the struggle of playing soccer last year and the outlook of this year by stating, “I think our first scheduled game will be canceled due to all the snow on the field, but I think the first game that we will play will be exciting. If we are still practicing in the gym at Hillcrest when our first game is, we will not do so good, but if we are able to get out on the practice field and play soccer outside, I think we will do pretty good. We have a lot of new girls this year, so the quicker we get outside, the faster our team will be able to learn how to play together as a unit.”

This season may be coming up quick, but dedicated members of teams have been looking forward to this. For some, it is the last high school sport they will be a part of. Others have a few more years to improve and enjoy the sport of their choosing.

“You must commit to practicing because sports, especially tennis, aren’t something you can pick up in one day. It takes time to get better and requires a lot over the summer such as working on my serves and hitting it back and forth to increase accuracy. I hope to make it to sectionals and hopefully, the season goes well for the whole team,” stated Carlson.

Setting goals for the season and having a positive outlook despite the setbacks is what makes an outstanding athlete. Setting goals and addressing what needs to be worked on personally and as a team is what shows coaches a team leader.

“I’ve been playing for 11 years, and I started summer league when I was five. My motivation is the possibility of being subbed out to sit on the sidelines and watch the game. The ‘fear’ of not being able to play soccer makes me work harder to be better at soccer,” explained Colon.

Many athletes have to sacrifice their breaks and vacations for the sport they love. This shows coaches their commitment and a drive to succeed and will display to the team how invested the individual is. For example, Tuesday during spring break is the first day of baseball practice, and girls soccer practice is every weekday of break from 9 am to 11 am.

Junior Wylee Springborn explained his passion for baseball stating, “I’ve played baseball since I was five years old, and I just really enjoy the sport. It takes my mind off of things and is just relaxing. I play catcher and hope to play varsity. This year I went to open gym, and during the offseason, I do swim to stay in shape for baseball.”

Springborn as a catcher last year. Photograph courtesy of Trisha Springborn.

Athletes have to suffer through injuries and pushing their bodies to the limits. Some want to go to the next level and play for colleges. Others may do a sport to stay active through the extended school year.

“I have sprained my right ankle many times and have had to go to therapy. Now, before any soccer practices or games, I have to get my ankle wrapped and also put on an ankle brace. I have to do extra exercises for strengthening my ankle so I can kick the ball. It gives me a different outlook on my performance,” said Colon.

May these athletes have the best of luck in their seasons. To avoid injury and to leave their hearts on the fields, courts and track.

Colon playing soccer last year. Photograph courtesy of Elizabeth Colon.