Upperclassmen try new sports teams
“Trying tennis for the first time ever came with many difficulties,” junior Joey Brazelton said. “I had to learn how to play for the first time. I didn’t even know the basics or the structure of the game. My first practice I didn’t even have anything tennis related. I had to borrow someone’s racket until I got my own. Not understanding a lot at the beginning was definitely a new experience for me.”
Some students try sports for the first time simply because they look fun; however, incentives to play can include the new sport helping train for another sport, a coach directly asking or friends already on the team.
“I have many friends on the tennis team,” Brazelton said. “Two of my close friends, Ben Sobieray and Spencer Aaron, told me how fun it was and encouraged me to join the team. Ben even helped me know when practices started and how to purchase a uniform. He also took a couple of days out of his summer to hit the ball back and forth so I had at least held a racket before my first day of tennis.”
Senior Caroline Marot joined the golf team for a different reason.
“I had a rough junior swim season, and when I came out of it, I just wanted to have fun,” Marot said. “I heard that there was a call-out meeting for golf, and I thought it sounded fun. The more I thought about it, the more I realized golf was a sport that I really wanted to try. I talked to Mrs. Runge and admitted to her that I wouldn’t be any good, but she said to come anyway. I went to the first practice at the driving range and realized that I loved it, so I stuck with the sport.”
Although Marot went into golf with low expectations, it was still much different than anything she imagined.
“The biggest difficulty that I had was not really knowing what was going on,” Marot said. “I have swam since I was in second grade, so by now I know most of the ropes for swimming; however, golf is a whole new story because I have no idea what to expect.”
Like Brazelton, Marot had to go in with the mindset that JV is not a bad thing for a senior.
“Coach Runge likes to take one step at a time, which is what I need, but watching all my teammates play without me is hard,” Marot said, “especially because I came from swimming where I compete every meet. It’s just really different, but luckily I am surrounded by the best teammates and support even when I don’t play.”
Although Brazelton struggled at the beginning, his coach sees natural talent.
“Joey did great at his first few practices because he is receptive to coaching and was able to adjust to whatever we asked him to do,” Mr. Ben Sutton, tennis coach, said. “I would like to see him progress as a player and stick with the sport. A lot of new players come out and see varsity guys that are playing really well and don’t see themselves at that level. Because of that, a lot of guys will just ditch the sport because they think they aren’t good enough. I would like to see Joey return next year.”