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Uncovering Underclassmen

By Angelina Ng

New Hyde Park’s varsity sports program predominantly consists of the strongest junior and senior athletes. The varsity teams display their commitment to their respective sports through strenuous practices that prepare them for opposing teams.

“Every time I’m on the court, I know I have to give 110% in order to make up for my size and age...”

Although many upperclassmen are on varsity teams, underclassmen contribute a significant role on varsity, as well. As a freshman or sophomore on a team, it can seem intimidating or nerve-wracking to transition from the junior varsity to varsity environment because of its change in competitiveness. However, the support and encouragement from the juniors and seniors produces a comfortable atmosphere for their younger peers throughout the season. There are many differences between competing on a varsity level compared to the junior varsity level.

“The level of competitiveness on varsity is completely different from junior varsity. Varsity is more intense, has better competition and the girls I play against are bigger and stronger than me. Every time I’m on the court, I know I have to give 110% in order to make up for my size and age,” freshman Ava Orbon said.

Source by Anna Detke

Underclassmen Lauren LoCascio, Ava Orbon and Julia Lopez take on varsity basketball.

With practice and determination, these underclassmen challenge themselves to adapt to this new environment. The practicing and conditioning on the varsity level can be much more intense than the junior varsity level. Since underclassmen generally work at a higher and more competitive level than their current grade, they have to change their mindset to achieve athletic success.

“When I was in eighth grade, the level of play for basketball was serious, but I knew in order to get on varsity I had to push myself. I am now a sophomore playing varsity basketball in the winter. I was so excited to play, and the level of the game changed completely for me mentally and physically. My teammates and coaches inspire me everyday and have helped me become a better athlete,” sophomore Lauren LoCasio said.

Varsity tryouts can be difficult for coaches due to the many skilled athletes trying out and the process of cutting some students. Working on a varsity level raises competition, so coaches must have the ability to create and to construct a skillful team. Coaches give opportunities to underclassmen to join varsity teams based on their athletic ability and the effort they show. The support from coaches toward the underclassmen is greatly appreciated and helps build lasting relationships with other teammates and coaches.

Underclassmen playing a sport at a varsity level can be distinguished in different ways. Because of their athletic skill and hard work put into a sport, they have shown coaches their ability to play at a varsity level. Even if they are depicted differently because of their title as a varsity player, they still earned a spot on the varsity team due to their passion and commitment for their sport.

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