Starting a sport in high school

Athletes race back and forth across a gym floor as they prepare their bodies for competition.

High school can be an amazing or terrible experience depending on what you do and how you conduct yourself. Many students choose to make their high school experience more enjoyable by doing sports. There can be a difficult and long process to get playing time but it is well worth it for most in the end whether they play or not. A portion of student-athletes don’t even begin their particular sport until they are in high school.

“I started running cross country as a sophomore. I expected it to be a lot like track, but running long distances is very different, and harder than I expected,” sophomore Janae Johnson said.

For the students who do not begin a sport until high school, everything is more difficult. They have to learn the lingo, they do not know certain tid-bits of info that are important, and they do not have the experience that their peers gather from the years of playing.

“If I had the choice to change the past, I would have started playing a lot sooner, because between having to learn things my teammates had known for years and fighting for spots against people with a lot more experience than me made my football career a lot harder,” senior Arron Reingardt said.

Some did not wish they had started earlier though.

“If I had started sooner, I probably would have quit because I did not have the fortitude to stay with a sport that is constantly kicking your butt like swimming and diving does,” junior Chloe Mattison said.

There are many joys that come from taking part in a sport, whether athletes start in high school or not: the comradery, the bond between coach and player, the moments of pure unadulterated joy during practice, and the tears of sadness at a season over.

“Even though I did not start playing football until I was in freshmen grade, it was one of the best decisions of my life. I have gotten to play with friends I call brothers while doing a sport I have grown to love,” Reingardt said.

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