The Strive for Something New

As students make new friends, high school sports are a beneficial choice for all


Jory Mendoza, Taylor Acker, Catie Thomas, and ALyssa Sandquist cheering on their Varsity teammates from the sideline. Picture taken by Eleanor Escobedo.

Finn Joiner, Sports Editor

Teenagers often have trouble finding activities that they enjoy, or others that share the same activities. One way that students can discover new passions while making friends is through sports—a great entry to a more social life through creating new friendships and increasing a student’s mental and physical health.

Mr. Grum, the coach of the junior varsity boys volleyball team, has watched hundreds of new friendships flourish as the team bonds in practice and during games. To him, one of the most significant benefits of trying out a new sport is “just meeting new people” from all different backgrounds. Some players tend to be more serious about the sport while others are simply trying the sport out for the first time; there becomes a mix of people who are serious, there for fun, or just “trying a new sport different from ones they have done in the past.” People may all join sports for different reasons. Some students who take it super seriously can stick together and work strictly on improving, while those who are in it for fun can make friendships in and out of practice while still learning and improving the team. Coach Grum emphasizes on how he is “not [trying] to say that [the friendships] always click, but there’s some really good friendships” that he has seen come out of being on the team together.

Nick Blencoe warming up before Varsity football game. Picture taken by Ellie Escobedo.

According to Coach Grum, one of the reasons teenagers find it hard to get into sports is “the fear of failure” that comes with it. Having difficulty working past the anxiety of starting a new sport is difficult, but getting past the initial battle of going is the hardest part. Coach Grum values not only should be the responsibility of students trying to find a sport, but also coaches and organizers trying to bring new people in. “Programs should probably just go with the open gym idea, the fact that you [can] show up and try it out” can be really comforting for students worried about the failure that could come with it.

Although becoming involved in a new sport can be difficult for some, it is important to note that sports are always welcome to take in new athletes and try to help them improve both mentally and physically. Once getting over the first obstacle of trying to go to a practice or open gym, you can quickly understand the environment you’ll be around and if that is the type of sport that you would enjoy, while being in a welcoming environment.