This is the time of the year when stairs are some students’ worst enemy and all of their time is spent willingly exercising. This is the beginning of the wonderful months when everyone is extremely tired and sore, but they have never felt so alive– the start of high school sport season.
According to the 2012-2013 High School Athletics Participation Survey , around 7.7 million high school students participated in high school sports last year.
Most high schools revolve around sports. High school football games are pretty much mandatory events. The realm of high school sports is very intimidating, especially to first-time high school athletes.
Katie Jacques, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, recently started her first year on the high school tennis team.
Jacques has played many sports before, including soccer, volleyball, and field hockey, but she finally settled on tennis as her sport for this school year.
“I chose tennis because one of my old teachers was a coach and she would practice with me in the school gym. She convinced me to try out for the team. I also played tennis at camps over the summers.” said Jacques.
Destiny Mann, a freshman at Red Lion Area Senior High School, is also starting her first year of tennis. Unlike Jacques, this is Mann’s first experience playing an organized sport.
“I am both excited and nervous.” said Mann. “I play because it is fun, but I have never done anything like this before.”
Playing recreationally is different from playing on the high school level.
“High school sports are more intense. There is more pressure to win and represent the school.” said Jacques.
However, the elevated stakes come with higher rewards.
“I love my coach and my other teammates. Playing tennis is pushing me to be more involved in my school and to get on top of my schoolwork.” said Jacques.
Tennis has also helped Jacques meet new people. Friends can be an important resource, especially to freshman who are trying to find their way through the maze that is high school.
“Getting to know the upperclassmen has really helped me with my first year of high school. I know seniors and juniors from the team who are always willing to help me.” said Jacques.
Jacques and Mann have gotten to know each other well on the small tennis team. They have bonded and are trying to navigate through their first year of tennis together.
But Jacques knows that she still has work to do.
“I definitely need to improve,” said Jacques, “I need to work on control and other things, but I know I will get there in time.”