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Underestimated Underclassmen

Iesha Brown, Sports Writer

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Many upperclassmen tend to not recognize the ability underclassmen have for being on varsity level sport. These underclassmen have worked hard to be given the opportunity to be a freshman or sophomore playing at a junior or senior level.

The girls varsity field hockey, girls varsity dance team, and boys varsity cross country are just three of the many other sports that have underclassmen who participate on a varsity level sport.

Julie Gaham has been the head varsity girls field hockey coach for nine years. Coach Gaham has a variety of grades on the varsity team because there are only four seniors.

“I’m actually glad that we have a number of underclassmen on the team because there aren’t a lot of upperclassmen on the team,” Gaham said. “They all work together to contribute to victory.”

Because there aren’t many juniors and seniors playing this sport, the team knows that they have to make sure that they step their game up and work hard to achieve victory.

“This is my first time on varsity so it is a lot of hard work to balance out with school but you just gotta put in the work,” right/middle forward sophomore Hillary Shipp said.

The team is pleased with their accomplishments and know that the team has what it takes to become victorious.

Kari-Lynn Burroughs has been the coach for the JV dance team for two years, and now is the Varsity head coach. When the girls tried out for the varsity level, coach Burroughs was pleased with the results.
“For the underclassmen who play at the varsity sport level, I treat them all the same as if they were underclassmen,” Burroughs said.

Being on the sidelines and dancing in the middle of the field for halftime games is a great experience for the dancers as they cooperate to make the team coordinate as one.

“I was honestly surprised when I found out I was on varsity. I know that I was good enough to be on JV, but the hard work and dedication I put out into tryouts really made a difference,” freshman varsity dancer Zora Kachavos said.

Matt Gibson is the head varsity coach for the boys cross country team. Coach Gibson mentions that the way his varsity team is set up is different from how other teams varsity level sports are.

“In cross country, no one really tries out for varsity. I look at growth and how well the boys improve over time. The underclassmen really have shown me that they have what it takes,” Gibson said.

The fact that the underclassmen have what it takes to be on a varsity sport shows that they have the courage and persistence to play diligently in a sport.

The athletic program provides students with participation opportunities to promote both positive sportsmanship and the value of competition. Everyone is allowed to be a part of a sport no matter what grade they are in.

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Underestimated Underclassmen