As the prep sports calendar inches closer to an end, it seems fitting to look back on some of the greatest things about playing high school sports. Weber High School senior athletes help reflect on some of the greatest memories and perks of playing high school sports.
10. Gear - Who doesn't love getting a new pair of sweats, warm ups, or cleats? Especially when you get to flaunt it all over school for the remainder of the year, maybe even your life. That team warm-up jacket almost becomes a badge of honor as you proudly parade the hallways to the sweet, sweet tunes of "good luck today" or "great game." The practice and dedication make the athlete, but the gear is what truly sets one apart. Soak it in.
9. Senior night - This is it. The final home game for the graduating seniors, and many times the final game of the careers of these athletes. After the celebrations and ceremonies that precede the game conclude, it's all focus. Focus on getting that final win in front of the fans that have supported you for the last three years.
8. Fans/school support - Whether they are cheering for their own team or uniting in dislike for the opposing school, student sections help set the tone for each game. Through the good and the bad times, these faithful bunches will cheer for, or against anything. As cheers become more clever, the real entertainment may in the stands rather than on the court. Come for the game, stay for the student section.
7. Game day - Getting out of school early and dressing up is awesome. Just the fact of getting out of class early may make this one of the greatest perks of playing high school sports, if not the greatest perk. Nothing feels more liberating than leaving an English literature test early to go play 18 holes of golf or head to a track meet. Now that is the good life!
6. Growing up in the program - Through endless numbers of camps and attending games as a kid, you have always dreamed about the day you can finally put on the uniform for your high school. And after years of chasing this dream, the day finally comes when you step out onto the court or field. You are suddenly hit with the incredible realization, you've made it. You've finally made it.
5. State tournaments/postseason - I don't think it's possible to accurately describe just how absolutely amazing high school playoffs are. No matter the sport or venue, prep postseasons help capture all that is good about sports. Teams and individuals work countless years to earn a shot at a state championship. Senior sprinter at Weber High School, Mitchell Mordaunt, adds, "I worked so hard and lost so many races, but I was finally able to work my tail off and beat my opponents and take state. Best feeling ever." This dedication and eventual success is what it's really all about.
4. Upsets - Upsets are exciting at any level. Whenever a team or athlete has to overcome the idea that there is no way for them to win, it's a beautiful thing when they do. When asked about her favorite memory of high school soccer, senior Abby Froerer answered, "When we beat Alta in the playoffs my sophomore year and stopped their championship streak."
3. Playing with friends - Whether it be in your best friend's backyard playing flag football, or in front of your entire student body in the state playoffs, playing sports with your friends make the experience infinitely more enjoyable. Weber High senior swimmer Shea Smith stated, "I love being able to have my best friends as teammates. It's way cool to have an excuse to see them outside of school." After winning the region title, senior guard Hayden Schenck added, "It's an honor to do it with my best friends."
2. Rivalries - Throw the records out the window. When it comes to rivalries, neither team is backing down. These seemingly ancient meetings of cross-town schools make for yearly battles that will forever be engraved in the minds of the athletes. Not only is a win on the line, but usually a big heap of bragging rights, as well. And, it could be argued that those bragging rights are more important than the win itself.
1. Traditions - Every school has its own traditions. Whether it be singing your school's fight song, specific warm ups, or drinking Mountain Dew. Yes, Mountain Dew. Mason Miles and Jaren McKnight, senior starters for the Weber High boys' basketball team, made sure to get their weekly fix of the drink before each game. It's not really the most popular drink of choice before playing a basketball game, or any sport for that matter, but Miles and McKnight swear by it, making sure to get one liter before the game, only to finish the rest after