Racing to the top

Freshmen on varsity sports

For many high school athletes, playing a varsity sport is a major goal and accomplishment of their athletic career.  Varsity athletes are seen as the best in their sport, and often many of those teams will be filled by upperclassmen. However, there are always a few freshman athletes that dive straight into the deep end and join a varsity-level sport as a freshman.

Playing a varsity-level sport comes with numerous challenges, most notably the physical requirements. Naturally, freshman are the youngest players on the teams, creating the potential  physical disadvantage. Elijah Hughes is a freshman on the varsity football team.

“I didn’t really expect to make it, I just showed up and surprised myself,” said Hughes.  “It’s a lot of people’s first year on varsity but I wouldn’t say I have less experience since I played two years prior, so I have about the same skills.” 

Despite the differences in experience, these freshman athletes have the talent and dedication to keep up with their upperclassmen. The size disadvantage is one of the most deceiving because ability doesn’t come with a certain build, it comes from working hard and lots of practice.

Joining a varsity sport can be a daunting experience in the social sense, too. It is not always easy to fit into a new team culture, especially with upperclassmen than you. However, Hughes did not find this a problem. 

“It was not as difficult as I expected; it was actually relatively easy, it is just freshman with older kids,” Hughes said.  

Being a freshman varsity athlete comes with its challenges. With all the physical and social challenges that come with joining a varsity team, being a varsity athlete as a freshman is nothing easy. Nonetheless, these individuals will play important roles on their teams.  

 “It felt a little weird at first but all the girls were really helpful with me so I got into the routine quickly,” said Ashley Kennedy, a freshman on the field hockey team.