By Kate Magill
As freshmen enter the high school they are given numerous opportunities to try different extracurricular activities, especially sports. Freshman Katie Kapusta is an example of a freshman athlete. This year she is playing soccer on the JV A girls team. During a conversation with Katie, we discussed the transition that freshmen go through when moving from middle school level sports to high school.
Q: What sports are you playing this year at the high school?
KAPUSTA: This year I am playing soccer and I am possibly playing basketball and softball but I haven’t made a final decision yet. But I am definitely playing soccer and I really enjoy it.
Q: What have you liked about playing a high school sport? What made it more fun than other sports?
KAPUSTA: Well since I transferred from not a public school, from a Catholic school, to UA it definitely helped me meet more people and it was like a fun experience and I just love playing sports so it was just like a fun extra curricular activity to do.
Q: What was the transition like from playing a sport at the middle school level to playing a sport at the high school level?
KAPUSTA: Well in middle school I played, it was kind of a summer league, so it was still pretty competitive, but definitely the girls didn’t have as much experience in the middle school level as they do in the high school level. Because if you play club, you like transition, you’ll play middle school so you don’t get that experience of playing the better players. So you definitely play at a higher level.
Q: It’s more competitive.
KAPUSTA: Yeah it’s more competitive.
Q: And how do you feel like playing at the high school is different from playing at the middle school level?
KAPUSTA: Well it’s more of a commitment, cause when I played soccer in middle school it was more of like one or two practices a week and maybe one game. Here at UA it’s more like almost every day I’m doing something so it’s definitely more of a commitment, you have to love it, and just more of the competitive aspect also.
Q: What has your experience been like so far playing with upper classmen?
KAPUSTA: Actually it’s kind of made me more comfortable around the school. I feel confident saying hi to them or asking them questions, because they’ve gone through freshman year already, so I can ask them questions, not only about like athletic things but school related things too. So it’s definitely been a good thing to play with upper classmen.
Q: Yeah a positive experience.
Q: And then adjusting to high school can be really demanding on people. And playing a sport at the same time, do you find that it’s hard to manage your time?
KAPUSTA: It’s really hard to manage homework and school, and soccer, and even hanging out with friends. But I try to use my study hall time, which is really helpful, to the most I can. And I definitely put school first before soccer, so sometimes they’ll ask me to play for a JV B game, instead of a JV A game, and I’ll just have to be honest with them and tell them that I have too much homework tonight, or I’m running behind I have a big test and they’ll totally be understandable about that. But it’s hard to manage my time, there are definitely late nights, and I can’t watch as much T.V. and stuff like that.
Q: Yeah I definitely can relate to that.
Q: Would you say that you like playing sports at the high school better than at the middle school level?
KAPUSTA: Yeah I like it a lot better because, it’s just, I met more people this way, from both middle schools, I’ve met upper classman. And it’s just been an all around better experience, and I’ve gotten new coaching experiences, and I’ve gotten more one on one time with coaches, and it’s just they’re more focused on winning and like the aspect of playing the game than fundamentals.
Q: And then would you recommend playing a high school sport as a freshman to others?
KAPUSTA: I would definitely recommend playing a high school sport because it’s just overall it’s just a fun time, like beyond the sport you do so much more team bonding stuff, like we have had team bonding sleepovers, we have team dinners before games and stuff, and it’s just an overall a really good experience. And you’ll never experience being a freshman athlete again so you might as well just take the opportunity.
Q: Well that was my last question is there anything else you want to add?
KAPUSTA: I just want to say that any freshman, or any other student in high school that they should definitely try sports because even if you aren’t very athletic it’s still a good experience and you’ll never know if you like it unless you try it.
Q: Yeah plus there’s so many different sports you can try anything.