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Freshmen standouts get the call to play varsity

Sydney Savage, Reporter

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Being an underclassman on a varsity sports team is something that few student athletes can say they have accomplished.

Freshman soccer player Riley Page tries to overlook the stresses that come with playing against upperclassmen.

“I try to forget that they are older, and I just leave it all on the field and do as best I can no matter the circumstances,” Page said.

Sophomore varsity baseball player Kahlil Watson explains why he was unfazed by the upperclassmen he faced as a freshman playing short stop.

“Growing up, I played against people older than me, so I was used to it,” Watson said.

One thing that freshman football player Mark Cesta feels got him a starting position is his effort.

“I just feel like putting in the extra work off the field and keeping my reps good on the field landed me my spot,” Cesta said.

Sophomore Isaac Williams expresses what he was concerned about going into his freshman season as a varsity baseball player and pitcher, with all the demand placed on those who take the mound.

“The fact that I wouldn’t be taken seriously because my team would think I was just a young kid. Going up against the older kids, I worried they wouldn’t trust me as much,” Williams said.

Watson mentioned he didn’t feel the pressure of older opponents because of his knowledge of his own talent.

“No, because I was like, ‘I’m better than them,’ so why should I be intimidated,” Watson said.

Challenging older players didn’t unnerve sophomore Alyssa Henault either.

“I wasn’t that intimidated because playing outside of school and facing bigger girls helped me prepare for high school to play with the older girls,” Henault said.

Freshman swimmer Tate Bacon, who qualified for regionals as an individual and states as a relay team member, gives his own advice to upcoming freshmen who have potential to make varsity.

“No matter how skilled you are, try to stay humble around the school. Don’t go telling everyone you’re super good and on varsity. Don’t ever make anyone else feel like they are less than you,” Bacon said.

Page tells how it’s a whole new world on the field compared to off of it.

“It was really intimidating to know some of the older girls, especially the seniors, because I know them off the field, but on the field there’s a different competitive level,” Page said.

Williams reveals what set him above the other players.

“I took the sport seriously and worked hard to get where I was,” Williams said.

Softball coach Brittany Owens feels that Henault possesses attributes that positively affect the varsity softball team.

“From day one, even in the summer, she was always someone who went above and beyond, and it was very obvious talent-wise where she needed to be, and the biggest reason was that she could help us,” Owens said. “Whenever we are deciding to put freshmen on varsity, the biggest thing is where they are going to get the most playing time and where they are going to do the most, and I think that she was really going to help us as a freshman.”
Henault was confident in her personal ability, which prepared her for the season.

“I always practiced and had experience, so I wasn’t really stressed out about it when it came time to play,” Henault said.

Watson clarified how his teammates’ feelings towards him changed as the season went on.

“Some of them were mad, but throughout the season, they knew that they could count on me, so they started liking me midway through it,” Watson said.
Senior Anna Yeakey looks back to her freshman year on the girls’ soccer team to reflect on how the upperclassman viewed her.

“Most upperclassman were very encouraging to me, and they kept me positive. They were honestly like bigger sisters to me who aided me through the whole journey,” Yeakey said.

Cesta was pleasantly surprised that he was given such a big opportunity to play on the varsity football team as an underclassman.

Cesta said, “It’s been better than anything I could have imagined. I never thought I’d be on varsity my freshman season.”

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