By Kobe King
Being an athlete in high school adds work to students’ already busy schedules. Being a varsity athlete adds even more pressure, but most athletes strive to reach that varsity level. Becoming a varsity athlete takes even more time, hard work and dedication.
Varsity basketball player Chase Ferguson joined the high school basketball team because he grew up playing. Standing out and competing with the other varsity players is how he became a varsity player himself.
“With basketball, you have to be one of the best nine to 10 guys out of the school in order to play. I’m personally not the most skilled player, but I hustle and work hard and it’s those little things that I do that help me stand out and compete with some great competitors,” Ferguson said.
For the wrestling team, becoming a varsity athlete is a little different. Varsity senior wrestler Ryan Glithero explained that in the beginning of the year, there are wrestle-offs and the winner is the varsity wrestler for that weight class.
“To become a varsity wrestler, you have wrestle off at the beginning of the year, so if you have anyone else in your weight class, they challenge and you wrestle them off and the winner is the varsity athlete,” Glithero said.
Being a varsity player can put pressure on athletes. Senior varsity basketball player Libby Baker said pressure can make you scared to play your game so it’s important to remember to relax.
“I think there is more pressure as a varsity athlete, especially playing varsity since freshman year. A lot of people are counting on you to play well and work your hardest. At first, the pressure was hard to handle; I was always afraid to make a mistake because I knew it would affect the whole team. Over time, I was able to relax and just play the game, which helped me perform better,” Baker said.
Baker serves as a role model to the younger athletes on the team.
“Being a varsity athlete, you always have to be aware of everything you do. One choice I make can affect the whole team. I always have to keep in mind that someone is watching and I always have to be a good example for the underclassmen and those who may be watching me,” Baker said.
Glithero works hard even when he knows his coaches aren’t necessarily watching him because he understands his hard work will pay off.
“I work on and off the mat, knowing that when my time comes, I will perform at my best. I know I have to work harder in practices and change my mentality that I have going into every match so that I am ready to defeat my opponent,” Glithero said.
Even though in most sports, JV and varsity players practice together, there are still some differences, according to Ferguson.
“The biggest difference between Varsity and JV practices are fundamentals. The JV works a lot more on the basic fundamentals of basketball, whereas the Varsity works a lot on schemes for our opponents,” Ferguson said.
Athletes work hard everyday, working towards earning their varsity letter and staying varsity by showing their worth or wrestling for it everyday.