Freshmen on Varsity


Jenna Beckley, Reporter

Most people agree that being a freshman is stressful.  They begin surrounded by people they’ve never met, the school seems gigantic, and everything is not quite what they  imagined.

But what most people don’t consider is what it’s like for a freshman to be placed on a varsity sports team. The pressure of being surrounded by upperclassmen, the balance of being a student-athlete, combined with  the overall experience, can be frightening to say the least.

“My initial reaction for being placed on Varsity my freshman year for Cross Country caught me completely by surprise but in the best way. I think that making varsity as a young athlete can seem like validation for hard work,” said So. Abby Scott.

At last year’s OHSAA (Ohio School Athletic Association) Cross Country Championships, in all of the  six boys and girls divisions, a total of 883 runners competed.  Of the 883 runners, 98, just 11%, of the runners were Freshman.

Football coach David Vogt believes that if a freshman earns it, they will  find their way on to the team. “For a freshman to make varsity for football,  that player would have to put in a lot of hard work and be coachable,”said Vogt.

Yet it’s not just what a coach looks for in incoming freshman, it’s also how the seniors view freshman too. Another aspect that goes into the decision is whether or not having a freshman on Varsity will mess with the team chemistry. Seniors take this question seriously, because it could be one that changes the game, literally.

Senior Lauran Morrissey, playing on varsity volleyball this year, said, “ If the freshman is good enough to play, it doesn’t throw off the team. Typically if someone works hard and they have the skill level to play varsity, their teammates respect them no matter the grade level or how old they are.”

When asked the same question, So. Elijah Fenton said, “I don’t think it messed up the team chemistry at all. It was really fun being immersed with all upperclassmen. It ended up leading me to a new social group, and they taught me a lot of stuff about soccer and how to manage playing varsity with my schoolwork”.

Fenton not only played varsity on the soccer team last season, but he started and scored 16 goals.

One of the downsides of being a  freshman on Varsity are the jobs that everyone else doesn’t want to do are pushed onto freshman.  For most high school sports, all freshmen have to set up and take down equipment. Freshman are considered a cleanup crew.

When Kate Stahlin, one of the directors for Durango Youth Soccer Association, was placed on Varsity soccer, softball, and basketball her freshman year, she had plenty to say.

“I very much value and cherish the experiences I had in high school sports as they really helped shape who I am today,” said Stahlin.

Most freshman dream of putting on a varsity jersey, and it proves to be one of the scariest yet fulfilling opportunities anyone could experience in high school. “Making Varsity may earn respect as an athlete, but it’s important to earn it as a person and friend also.” Said So. Abby Scott.