Sparks to start: Trying out for a new sport can benefit students


Photo Credit: Kassidy Payne

Tenzin Yangchen shooting during the first day of basketball tryouts.

Juliette Ramirez-Torres, Staff Writer

   Gresham High School offers fifteen different sports throughout the school year. There are year-round sports, seasonal, indoor, outdoor, non-contact,  and full-contact sports. 

   It takes courage to try out for a new sport, especially at the high school level when there are so many experienced players out there. Many students find the inspiration to try out from their daily life. Sophomore, Carmen Ramseyer was inspired to join cross country, a sport she had not tried before,  by her family members. “My family, they have a history of running, my grandparents and my dad (have done it),” Ramseyer said. 

   Ramseyer did three years of wrestling prior to highschool as well as track & field for two years, but cross country was a new experience for her.  

    “I wanted to join cross country to compete in a team atmosphere,” Ramseyer said. Although cross country is a team, athletes still compete as individuals. But, the team atmosphere takes off some of the competitive pressure and gives you support.  

   Many students who try out for a new sport, have played a different sport before. 

   “I’ve always played sports my entire life. I was a competitive soccer player,” freshman Maiya DeBruin said. DeBruin no longer plays soccer but plays basketball now during the offseason and she has gone to all of the open gyms and even attended private practices. 

   “I liked the [basketball] environment and the girls I played with better [there is] less stress,” said DeBruin. 

   It’s normal for many hard-working athletes to feel burnt out on a certain sport and to try new sports or switch which sport takes priority in their life. With many competitive sports, there is pressure, but the excitement of trying a new sport allows for fresh excitement.

  After playing football and basketball since 2nd grade, sophomore Tyler Hockert chose to switch to only playing football because he was looking for a closer team atmosphere.   “Football is more team-oriented than basketball and it becomes more of a family than a team,” Hockert said.    

   Starting a new sport can also help new students feel welcomed to the school. Sports create a community for the players to feel a part of and contribute to. While working together throughout the season, many teams become close and students can get that extra support that they need. Sports can also be a distraction from home life d and gives many a safe environment.

   “It gives them [the atheletes] people to say hi to,” girls varsity soccer coach Brandon Tatum said. 

   Within the sports community, the team can help students academically too. Many teams have a grade check policy where athletes need to be passing five classes in order to play. This is why most sports have study hall before or after practice. 

   “Study hall every day gives our students a chance to stay involved with their academics,  ” Tatum said. This allows students to do homework and get caught up if needed.

   The expectations for high school students can be extremely stressful at times and sports can be a way to let out that frustration. 

   “[I’m] excited to have something to focus on besides school,” DeBruin said. When running or playing a sport, one’s mind takes a break from academics and allows them to put their energy towards something else.   

   Sports can get tiring or difficult so sticking with it teaches people not only the responsibility but the feeling of accomplishment. It provides students with a commitment and routine that involves hard work and exercise.

   “I didn’t want to be a quitter, I wanted to persevere,” Ramseyer said. Although we doubted her decision to join cross country, she stuck to it.

   The clearance form to participate in sports is now online and accessible from the school’s website, making it easier for students to sign up to play. If students want to try out but are worried about money, the school can work with them and create a payment plan. All that is truly required to join a new sport is a positive attitude, hard work, and commitment. “Starting a new sport can be scary, but all you need is a positive attitude, motivation, and determination,” said sophomore,  Nadia Mosley.