Peter Glaser baraida, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
With nearly half the student body in attendance, this year’s sports interest meeting had a palpable excitement as students filed into Hogarth Auditorium on Wednesday, Aug. 18. During the interest meeting, coaches representing swim, cross country, soccer, tennis and track and field detailed their plans for the upcoming school year. A common message throughout each speech was that even if an individual had no experience playing a sport, it never hurts to try. After the coaches’ discussion, students had the opportunity to sign interest forms for each team.
Many students were optimistic about the sports season ahead.
“I feel that sports are a good way to exhibit work ethic and make friends along the way. I hope this season ends up going well,” said junior Shae Parfait, who plans to participate in tennis and soccer and is interested in cross country.
“I think this year will be much smoother than last year’s sports seasons,” added senior Carter Miller, who participated in cross country, soccer and track and field his junior year. “I’m hoping we can continue this year without any quarantines or interruptions. People are much more acclimated to the pandemic, and almost everyone is completely familiar with COVID-19-related safety precautions.”
One recurring reason students appear to enjoy sports at MSMS is the underlying focus on academics.
“I think the main difference between MSMS sports and my home high school is that academics are prioritized over sports, which is a wonderful thing,” said senior Balee Wilson, who participated in tennis her junior year. “I love that the coaches are extremely supportive and are willing to be flexible if you have a lot on your plate academically.”
“The academics here will take priority status over everything, so I won’t have to worry about not being able to [participate] because of homework,” added junior Isaac Riggins, who plans to participate in soccer.
MSMS is by no means a sports powerhouse: after all, it is a math and science school. Still, last year, the boys’ cross country team earned second place at the Eagle Cross Invitational, the swim team’s Jessica Yan placed second in the state for the 100-meter breaststroke, the boys’ soccer team advanced to playoffs for the first time in eight years, the track and field relay team progressed to the state level for the first time and the tennis team had numerous individuals place at state. The motivation behind these sports’ achievements lie in the hearts of MSMS athletes.
Senior Dylan Griffith, who runs cross country, puts it plainly. “I chose to join a sport to prove that nerds can be athletic too.”