New Season, New Opportunities

Freshman overcome hurdles and gain new experiences in signing up for their first high school sport


Freshman Alyssa Rask participates in a club gymnastics tournament, but will be making a switch to the TJ gymnastics team this season.

Annika Duneja , Staff Writer

It’s that time of year again, when the days get shorter, the homework load gets bigger, and some freshman decide that maybe they are ready to do their first high school sport.

When we were younger, many of us watched movies of stereotypical high school students flipping on beams and rushing at each other in the wrestling ring, wondering when it will be our turn to the same in high school. Now that we have our chance to be part of a school sports team, what do we have to look forward to?

For many freshmen, the winter season provides a whole new set of sports to try out, including indoor track, wrestling, basketball, and gymnastics. Freshman Felix Cherkasskiy, who is doing wrestling for the first time this winter, looks forward to improving his skills and strength and participating in matches.

There are many differences between doing club and high school sports, which is a cause of worry for many freshmen. Freshman Alyssa Rask, who just joined the gymnastics team has these fears as well.

“There are a lot more jumps involved on the beam, and in club gymnastics, there’s not as many, so there are all these new requirements that I’ve never had to do before,” Rask said. “If you do a skill that is high difficulty in club gymnastics, then you don’t get extra points, but in high school, your points are based on the difficulty of your skills.”

For some, it’s also a strange experience to have their sports and school life collide. Instead of those two things being separate, some could be lifting weights with the same people they eat lunch with.

“It’s different because I’m different in school than I am in gymnastics, so it’s like my teammates know me both in school and during the sport, and it will be a different team experience,” Rask said.

Though Cherkasskiy is eager to participate in his first sport at Jefferson, he is worried about not being able to carry the weight of both school work and the time commitment that comes with doing a sport.

“I am mostly worried about how much [wrestling] is conflicting with my after school activities. I find myself missing many practices or having to drastically change my schedule,” Cherkasskiy said.

However, at the same time doing a sport can push people to be able to effectively do work in a short amount of time. High school sports go on for two and a half hours after school, so most students only get home at 7pm, drastically cutting down the time they have for homework. This means that when they do get work, they have no choice but to either do it ahead of time or do it quickly without any procrastinating and distractions.

“People have said that those who do sports tend to be better at time management, because they don’t have as much time to get work done,” Rask said.

Either way, whatever view people have on the hardships of doing winter sports, it is a fun way for freshmen to be involved in non-academic school activities and meet people with the same interest in certain sports as them after spending a quarter settling into the school.