The daily practices and tiring work are all coming to an end with the closing of high school fall sports. Fall sports include football, soccer, cross country, girls tennis, golf, field hockey, and girls volleyball. Other than tennis and golf, most sports have two distinct levels—varsity and junior varsity. Varsity teams tend to be the more experienced, but sports are more than just experience and expertise. Along with the competitions and matches, the teammates become very close.
Nancy Han, a ninth grader on the Walter Johnson Junior Varsity volleyball team, says “I have a connection with my teammates, they’re my friends. Since I was new to the school the sport teams helped me get friends and it was really fun.”
Claire Luo and Divya Rajagopal agree with Nancy. Senior Claire Luo has been on the Richard Montgomery tennis team for four years and is now captain. “I am extremely close with many of my team members. I genuinely feel very fortunate that I decided to play tennis in high school because I was able to meet and have incredible encounters with so many amazing people, many of whom I hang out with outside of tennis.”
Junior Divya Rajagopal, a member of the girls tennis team at Montgomery Blair High School, agrees, “The team is very tight nit.”
With these close relationships, almost every team have their own customs and traditions. Bethany Chen, a golfer at Churchill High School states, “We have secret buddies, so before every match, you would have a person whom you would bake goods for and you would give them the sweets before the match. We also had a sleepover before the banquet, and we had spirit day- we had pink out and neon day.”
Along with customs, each team strives to win a championship title. This year, Paint Branch HS claimed the title for football, Whitman HS claimed title for girls soccer, and Wootton HS claimed the title for girls tennis. The golf title was given to Churchill HS, and ,surprisingly, Northwest HS made a comeback and won the championship title for girls volleyball.
Coaches seem to have a lot to say about fall sports as well. Mrs. Wayerski- Whitman’s girl’s tennis team coach felt optimistic about her team when stating, “We are a very young team- my starting team had two freshman and two sophomores, but my team is growing and our record is 9-3 so we did very well. The girls were cohesive and very strong as a team. I saw a lot of a connection between them.”
Wayerski also conveyed her goals and values, saying, “I try to get them to stay in the moment, play the ball in the moment and not think about the scores. I tell them that the past is gone so they should think about the future and keep their eyes on the ball while focusing on their shots. Plus, I think attitude is most important because it doesn’t matter if they mess up a skill, it matters that they still feel good about the game and like the sport with a positive attitude”
Many players find not only their passion for sports, but also close friends and supportive coaches when joining a sports team. Fall sports have been a huge success for many players and even coaches, all saying that they would like to participate again next year with the same ardent aspirations.
Article by MoCo Student Staff Writer Isabelle Zhou of Richard Montgomery High School
Photo provided by courtesy of the Montgomery County Gazette