An inside look at seniors journeys through the UA athletic system

by Davey Strahm ’13

The athletic system is introduced to the youth of Upper Arlington at a very young age. Having only one high school in UA allows for all of the athletes to eventually participate on the same teams. For seniors Robbie Baskent, Brendan Gibbs and Zach Shy, although the journey have led them through many different challenges, they have conquered them all and have now earned the privilege of starting as seniors.

While the goal of earning a starting spot as a senior is similar for many athletes, every player has a different path upon which he or she must travel. Senior Robbie Baskent took a bit longer to find his place as the kicker in the athletic system.

When his football career began freshman year, Baskent was still undecided as far as his position. When coach Michael Golden announced the team’s desire to fill the kicking position Baskent expressed interest.

“I talked to the coach at two-a-days and [Coach Golden] saw me kick, and that’s how it started,” Baskent said.

He began training for his new position with haste and found his calling. While he struggled at first, Baskent quickly got the hang of the new routine.

“As a kicker there is always pressure. One second you are the hero of the team, making the game winning kick. But then the next moment you could be the most hated kid in the school [for losing the game],” Baskent said.

After three agonizing years of kicking for both the freshman and JV teams, Baskent has found himself in the spotlight as a starting senior.

“The first game I was pretty nervous, but it felt good to get the first points of the season,” Baskent said.

Now that Baskent has reached his goal he has achieved his dream of starting for the football team. Baskent was joined in his journey by Gibbs.

Gibbs also played football throughout his youth years; however he took a more tenacious approach to the sport.

“I started taking football seriously in fifth grade, and it got even more intense once I reached the middle school level,” Gibbs said.

As time passed and seniors graduated, Gibbs seized the opportunity to join the starting lineup.

“It is an amazing feeling,” he said. “We grow up watching all of the high schoolers playing, and now we are in their shoes playing for all of the little kids.”

Now in his senior year, Gibbs is a starter. And while Gibbs and Baskent use the Marv Mooredhead Memorial Stadium for football, senior Zach Shy has a different use for the facilities.

“I have been playing soccer ever since I was five years old,” Shy said.

He came up through the youth league Eagles Soccer and participated in the Arlington athletic system since seventh grade. Through many vigorous hours of work and determination, not only has Shy earned a spot on the starting lineup, he was also named a captain.

“It feels great obviously, it is a lot of fun. Any time I can get out there and play with my teammates it is really fun, starting is just another advantage,” Shy said.

Every athlete has to start somewhere. Whether preparations begin at the age of five, or even waiting until senior year, it is always possible to become a starter. Although they all began at different places; Baskent, Gibbs and Shy have all achieved the goal of starting as seniors.