Sports as an Outlet

by Alicia Crosby

Starting out in a new school could be a trying experience for anyone. People usually find one outlet or another to help them adjust to the transition. When I started out at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services (H.P.H.S.), that outlet was sports. At my school, like many others, the athletic program is one of the first things you hear about when you enter high school. Deciding to play sports was probably one of the smartest decisions that I ever made. Not only am I doing something that may help me in the future, specifically college, I was able to meet people that I might not have otherwise, including two of my best friends (also Lady Vipers).

Now participating in the athletic program at Health Professions is not all about fraternizing. Much is expected on your behalf. In addition to conducting in a manner that is considered becoming for a student-athlete, you must remember that is just what you are, a student-athlete. Your grades come before anything else. You could be looked upon as the next Allen Iverson, Barry Bonds or Sheryl Swoops. Yet, if your academics aren’t in order, you won’t even get the chance to warm the bench. When you are on the team and your grades drop, I can assure you that you will be severely reprimanded by your coach. I had to find this out the hard way. Don’t get me wrong, even though you will receive a stern talking to by your coach, they are incredibly supportive. I know my basketball coach (who serves as the athletic director at my school), Mr. Benerofe, is the first person to come to your aid if you need help with schoolwork. In my opinion he’s the best coach anyone could ask for, he’s there for us whenever we need him. Conduct, a major factor in the profile of a student-athlete at H.P.H.S, is also important. If you are unable to uphold yourself in a way that is suitable for a Viper/ Lady Viper, “riding the pine” may not even be an option for you.

Whether you decide to play volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball, softball or run track, you should make sure that you have your priorities in check when looking to become a Viper. An extraordinary amount of time and dedication is involved. Sometimes it means giving up weekends and vacations to practice if necessary. But trust me its worth it. If you’re willing to devote yourself to the game and all of the sacrifices and responsibilities that are associated with it, grades and such, then the athletic program at H.P.H.S may be for you. If not, then I would suggest another activity but due to the lack of student activities at Health your other options are student government, school leadership team and a few scattered undertakings which all have high requirements.

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