Life lessons live through athletics

Junior Anna Taft does hang cleans for Track weight lifting program.

Sports are a way of achievement. A success in sports means social success. Although all athletes don’t perform the best, they still have the individual success and success in the mind through their teams.

Sports can bring a new passion to someone when starting early or later in life. Junior wrestler Jack Plagge has been involved in sports at the mere age of three.

“I started sports when I was about 3 or so, just shooting hoops and stuff. I started playing team sports when I was in about kindergarten. I continue to do them because I enjoy them. It gives me something to do that is productive with my life and will benefit me,” Plagge said.

Plagge now has a greater passion for wrestling than “shooting hoops.”

Senior swimmer Grace Considine is finishing her senior season of swimming and has been competing since a young age and her passion has not yet faded.

“I started doing rec center sports like soccer and T-ball when I was around 4 or 5, but I started doing more competitive sports like swimming when I was 7, and I keep doing them because they are something I enjoy a lot, and I like the competition. A lot of my best friends are in those sports with me, and I love doing it with them,” Considine said.

Junior Ben Sernett was part of the 2018 basketball state championship team when he deciding to move up to varsity during the playoff portion of the season.

“I started playing sports as soon as I was able to walk. My family and I would always be playing catch or shooting hoops. I keep doing them because I love competition and love practicing the sports I play,” Sernett said.

Junior Krisha Keeran has competed in sports since a young age. Keeran has channeled her frustrations through the ball and the racket.

“I did gymnastics before I started tennis at the age of 7. I found that sports helped me make new friends, and I found it as an outlet to let out stress and frustrations,” Keeran said.

Having passion in sports does not come easy. It involves dedication and a solid support system. Support can lead an athlete to go a long way. In the roughest of times and in the best of times having support can lift the spirits of an athlete. 

“My biggest mentor was our head coach last year,” Plagge said. “Sadly, he couldn’t coach this year, but ever since I started wrestling, he took me under his wing and has helped me accomplish more than I can imagine. Why I like him so much is that he is more than a coach to me. He’s been there for me at my best in life and my worst, and he’s helped me every step of the way.” 

Sometimes the best supporters are the ones that you aren’t around constantly, like your family. Sometimes they’re the ones who catch up with athletes and follow their progress when they’re not around, like coaches or even best friends. Either way, athletes note that support is a basic need for an athlete to succeed in their sport which will translate to life.

“My dad has really pushed me to be the best athlete I can be, especially in swimming because he swam in college. He has been a big influence throughout my career,” Considine said.

Athletes will face some of their biggest controversies in sports. Although it may be a broken limb or a match lost, and the self esteem of an athlete can take a beating.

“In any sport comes ups and downs. In my swimming career dealing with change with different coaches and their coaching styles has impacted my swimming a lot, and in some cases negatively, but luckily my senior year my new high school coach was one that I liked a lot and trusted my training with, and he made me a better swimmer this past season and helped me reach my goal of placing at State,” Considine said.

Self esteem makes or breaks an athlete. Giving that extra drive on the field, court or pool can come from a higher confidence.  

“Last year, it was the district tournament (tournament to qualify for State), and I was seeded second in my bracket, so I was pretty much predicted to get second (first and second place go to State). Well, in my semi-finals match, I got pinned by a guy I had previously beat that year. That was really tough for me because my season was over after that point until next year,” Plagge said.

There are lots of lessons to be learned, and time to be put in. Effort is what athletes hear in their sleep from their coaches.

“You have to earn everything. Starting wrestling in seventh grade, I was already behind a lot of guys. Especially ones who have started in their childhood, so by starting wrestling later on in my life and realizing that this is a sport I love, I had to understand that I had to work my ass off to compete with some of these upper level guys and get to where I am at today,” Plagge said

Keeran has dealt with being behind other athletes in tennis because of where she lived, so a hard work ethic is what she lives by.

“The biggest thing I learned through tennis is hard work. Only with hard work you are able to achieve your goals. I can use this in my future through school because I need to be dedicated and passionate to succeed. This can apply to my school life where I succeed through the classroom with hard work and dedication,” Keeran said.

Sports are all about ups and downs. The controversies define the athlete. It just depends on the athlete and how they take it. Participating in sports will gain a different desire from each individual, and gain different personalities.

“You always have someone to go to. Being a part of team is like having another family, and it’s really awesome to be a part of that and have so many people supporting you,” Considine said.

 

Future for these athletes

“I see myself coaching in the future at some level and maybe playing in college” 

­— Ben Sernett

“I’m not 100% sure where I will end up with sports in the future, I’m still debating whether or not I want to wrestle in college because it will be a big responsibility to have good grades and maintain a good wrestling career. But I will take any good opportunities that are thrown at me” 

­— Jack Plagge

“as I go on to being a college athlete, I see myself dealing with sports as an outlet to my stress with school and a way to make friends a be able to be apart of a new team and family in college, I’m really lucky I have this opportunity” 

­— Grace Considine

“I want to play college tennis for sure. But, I want to find a school that has the right balance between tennis and academics. My dream school to play at is Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri” ­— Krisha Keeran

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