May 21, 2014
As the school year comes to a close and the spring sports begin to wrap up, we should take the time to reflect back on a long and successful sports year. There are some kids who are looking forward to the end of their season, yet others are gearing up for their next. Playing sports year round is a task not many students have the ability to do. Why is that? Well, most of the bigger high schools in Minnesota often have students that concentrate on just one sport and train for that particular sport all year round. Their students specialize because there are so many of them. One example of this is Eden Prairie. Their enrollment of 3,000 nearly doubles our enrollment of 1,600 students. This is one reason why our school needs three sport athletes.
Here at the OHS, most coaches often encourage year round participation. They say it builds and helps develop well rounded athletes. When asked for his opinion on three sport athletes at the high school Mr. Williams, our head football coach, said, “I am definitely in favor of our students playing at least two, if not three sports. For a school our size, we need kids to be competing all year round.” Williams went on to say, “For some kids, football may not even be their favorite sport, but we still need those kids. So yes, to answer your question, we need three sport athletes, and I definitely support them.”
Playing three sports is not common because most students get burnt out or they just want a break from the constant grind of daily practices. When asked what she gained from being a three sport athlete, junior Sydney Kasper, a member of girls soccer, basketball and track and field, said, “I gained teamwork skills and different friendships and relationships from all the sports teams I’m on.” Senior Andrew Stelter a leader in football, boys basketball and track and field added, “I learned great lessons from being in the different sports. I’ve made a lot of friends and have learned a lot.” Being in three sports gives students opportunities to meet many different people and build relationships with other students that they most likely would not have gotten to known.
Most students do not make it through high school playing three sports because it is emotionally and physically draining. The amount of dedication has to be exceptionally high. Students have to practice after school every day, go home and do homework, often tired. When asked how he manages his time, Stelter put it simply saying, “I just have to do my work for school and stuff after sports.” What happens when you do this process night after night? You get exhausted. There is no break. Students wake up tired every day and go back to the daily grind. There are also morning practices that some sports require or practices for sports that are in a different season. The students are constantly busy throughout the entire year, including the summer.
There is a reason three sport athletes get recognized by the school. It is not because our school is sports focused, or that it is all they care about. If anything, our school has leaned more and more towards recognizing academics. The reason for recognizing three sport athletes is due to the hard work and dedication that it requires. These students choose to participate in a sport all year round because they love to compete. Work places embrace the competitive nature that comes from being in sports. The school awards sports athletes because sports help develop students into hardworking adults.